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  • What would Trayvon’s law look like?

    Posted by TM Lutas on July 14th, 2013 (All posts by )

    With President Obama inserting himself once again into the Trayvon Martin killing, now ruled self defense by a Florida jury, President Obama now is calling for us to answer the question “how we can prevent future tragedies like this”. The President thinks that “[w]e should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis.”

    I suggest that what is needed is Trayvon’s law. This unwritten, heretofore unconceived legislation would have changed that encounter so that Trayvon Martin would be alive today.

    So what would Trayvon’s law look like? I haven’t a clue because I think that what led Trayvon Martin into that encounter with George Zimmerman has a thing to do with guns or gun violence. But no doubt others will have legislation to suggest. It would be decent and just to consider Trayvon Martin and aim changes to the law so that he would be alive today had that legislation been passed a decade ago. But what would it look like?

     

    47 Responses to “What would Trayvon’s law look like?”

    1. Whitehall Says:

      The jury came back with a verdict of “not guilty” – nothing more and nothing less.

      Self defense was likely the basis they used to come to the verdict but unless there have been some public statements by members of the jury, I don’t think we can say WHY they decided as they did.

    2. Gringo Says:

      In 2010, there were 622 Black murder victims under 18. A question to direct to the POTUS would be, why do you want to have the law changed based on one murder victim versus 622 others? Mr President, why do you not want a law made that takes into account the 622 Black murder victims in 2010 who under 18? What is so special about Trayvon Martin?

    3. ErisGuy Says:

      Trayvon’s Law: end plea bargains; executions for criminals with multiple felonies; no furloughs, paroles, or reduced sentences–full time for every crime.

    4. Deep Lurker Says:

      The people who are outraged over Zimmerman being acquitted are only using racism as an excuse. If it were really about racism, they’d be outraged over things like the Cory Maye case.

      The real outrage is due to their belief that self-defense is a malum in se crime, and ought to be an aggravating factor in homicide cases, rather than a legal justification. The people calling for a “Trayvon’s law” do believe that Zimmerman acted in self-defense – they just believe that self-defense should have resulted in a guilty verdict and a harsher sentence.

      So a Trayvon’s law would fix this. “Ideally” it might make self-defense shooting fall under the felony murder rule: Shoot and kill someone, and it might be second-degree murder or even just manslaughter. But if the prosecution can prove that you acted out of self-defense, then it’s Murder One.

    5. Sgt. Mom Says:

      The people most royally pissed about Zimmerman being acquitted by reason of self-defense seem to me to have a significant overlap with those who have pushed the violent ‘thug-life’ media image, one way or another. Lupe Fiasco appears to be the one honorable exception to the black celebs ostentatiously mourning Trayvon Martin and blaming it all on so-called white racism.
      An amazing number of said celebs seem to have not paid any attention to the testimony at the trial at all. And apparently still think we’re in the deep South in 1966 or something.

    6. Michael Kennedy Says:

      Well, they could pass a law making it a capital offense to kill a black teenager, enforced by an immediate execution. NO defense.

      The holocaust of black teenagers executed would make the law a short lived one. Sorry about the pun.

    7. Sgt. Mom Says:

      ” …they could pass a law making it a capital offense to kill a black teenager, enforced by an immediate execution. NO defense. The holocaust of black teenagers executed would make the law a short lived one…”

      Oh, SNAP!

    8. Whitehall Says:

      Perhaps we should have a law that teenagers suspended from school for violent crimes or strong indications of violent crimes (burglary tools or stolen goods) should not just be turned out of school but sent to youth detention camps run by the police.

      This would have kept Trayvon off the streets so he wouldn’t have run a foal of protectors of their neighborhoods like GZ.

    9. Michael Kennedy Says:

      “sent to youth detention camps run by the police.”

      We used to have these. They were called “reform schools.”

      The current approach involves minimizing the use of custodial institutions and the maximization of the use of less-restrictive settings which allow the youths to remain in their own homes, usually while attending during the daytime an institution called an alternative school or something similar, which is usually a more-structured version of a public school. There may be court-monitored probation or other restrictions, such as a strict curfew applied to the clientele of the “Department of Youth Services” or whatever the state terms it, than for other youths the same age.

      This does not work, as we see in our hellish public high schools. It does avoid “stigmatizing” the offenders. I’m sure that helps.

    10. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      “An amazing number of said celebs seem to have not paid any attention to the testimony at the trial at all. And apparently still think we’re in the deep South in 1966 or something.”

      I don’t think they believe that at all. It’s a pose, for the consumption of the masses and the acceptance of their peers. They crave acceptance and applause more than anything. Expect no bravery or deep thought from that lot.

    11. IGotBupkis, "'Faeces Evenio', Mr. Holder?" Says:

      }}} But what would it look like?

      The legislative abortion known as ObamaCare?

    12. IGotBupkis, "'Faeces Evenio', Mr. Holder?" Says:

      }}} The people who are outraged over Zimmerman being acquitted are only using racism as an excuse. If it were really about racism, they’d be outraged over things like the Cory Maye case.

      No, this IS really about RACISM.

      They’ve convicted George Zimmerman because Trayvon Martin was BLACK, and George Zimmerman, well, he “LOOKS WHITE” (Irony fully intended).

      In short — they are racist SCUM.

      They are no different from any 20s southern jury that ever convicted a black man for nothing more than being black.

      They are, in fact, WORSE than that 20s southern jury because that jury at least believed racism was correct. This bunch decries racism all the while they operate under its aegis.

    13. dearieme Says:

      @IGotBupkis: what you say is harsh, almost hysterical. And, alas, almost certainly true.

    14. VXXC Says:

      Self Defense as aggravating the homicide and malum in se, this is actually the law in Britain.
      ======================
      “Outrage”. The essence of the Prog method is Holier than Thou status seeking. The Progs are the direct descendents of the Puritan Dissenters.

      When you’re so much more Holier Than Thou than Oliver Cromwell you may have a problem. England did and exiled them…HERE.

      So yes it’s always 1966 or 1866 or for that matter 1666 in Massachusetts.

      New England will always be at war with the Confederacy. Even decades after the last vestiges of the Confederacy’s offenses are washed away. There’s status and money in always being at war with SIN. As long as there’s STATUS in denouncing SIN then the Righteous must remain at eternal WAR with the Sinners.

      Ordinary Americans should consider whether they want to be at eternal war with Human Nature, to benefit the fallen side of other’s fallen natures that seek STATUS.

    15. phwest Says:

      As an actual attempt at a serious answer – shift the burden of prove to the defense for self-defense cases.

      /snark on

      Since that appeared to be what the prosecution thought the law was in this case.

      /snark off

    16. phwest Says:

      proof that is

    17. Tom Jackson Says:

      -How’s this for a Trayvon’s law–on a second offense, all black thugs are exiled to camps just below the
      Arctic Circle in interior Alaska, Hispanic gangbangers can work as camp guards, and the zeks are given all the seeds, shovels and rakes they want, they depend on their own work for any food they get.

    18. Will Says:

      Trayvon law?

      Zimbabwe has tray-law, and South Africa is almost completely under tray-law. That’s a peek into the crystal ball. My opinion is that this case was cherry-picked by the Justice Dept. aka Obama Inc. aka The Black Student Union aka.. Expressly for the particulars involved. A suspect that they thought, (or could pass off as) white, who was legally armed, protecting private property, and the victim was, of course, the perennial victim. This dovetails perfectly with the arms and property confiscation goals of that old, but recently revived as Red/Green alliance.

    19. SPKorn Says:

      Regardless of the law, I’d rather be judged by 12 (or six women) than carried by 6.

      I will take my chances with a jury rather than suspend self defense as some protesters believe.

    20. renminbi Says:

      If you attempt to assault someone assault someone in a concealed carry state, are you looking for a Darwin Award? It seems so Maybe Congress should authorize the minting of Darwin medals for the families of the deceased felons?

      The best we can do is regard these “victims” with contempt.

    21. Michael Kennedy Says:

      I feel sorry for the kid as he seemed to be a participant in the “thug life” so common in black communities like Miami and Chicago. They are not going anywhere and know it. They could be but the effort has to begin before 17.

      I examine applicants to the military. It’s an interesting group of boys (female MDs see the girls). Last month I had a young black man of 25. He was joining the army. His language was a bit rough but nothing like that witness girl at the Z trial. He told me he had 17 half siblings and he never wanted to see any of them again. He had mostly been raised in foster care. He seemed, in spite of everything, to be getting his life on track. Lots of Hispanic and Asian kids, many of the latter Korean.

    22. Sun_Zeneise Says:

      We fail to apprehend is that legislation is the go-to Rube Goldberg all-purpose appliance to clean-up the societal mess du jours. The volume of noise the appliance generates amplifies as an election approaches. 2014 is the most important election – ever; hence Obama will dial-up appliances as needed to entrench the new order of his regime, and eliminate and bury his opponents as Racists! Racists! Racists! . . ., and so he will bring unite us post racially. Don’t cha-ya know?

    23. Michael Kennedy Says:

      I agree that Trayvon was all about the black vote in 2012 and 2014. I don’t think they can do a Rodney King civil rights act like 1993 because those were cops and the law apparently doesn’t apply to private citizens as easily. Lawyers can help us here. They will try to keep the pot boiling.

      If anyone still thinks the outrage and demonstrations were spontaneous or due only to Obama’s comments about Trayvon, you might read this lengthy list of participants. The language can be a bit high pitched but these folks are mostly in Florida and have their facts right. That and Talkleft have been the best sources on the subject and they link to each other.

    24. Aric Says:

      How about this for a “Trayvon’s Law”?

      Any person carrying a concealed weapon in public must also carry a small, unobtrusive video / audio recording device, like Google Glass. People with CCW licenses would of course be exempt from wiretapping laws while in public.

    25. BikerDad Says:

      Change the encounter so Trayvon is alive today? We will, for the sake of this thought experiment, posit that the law is vigourously enforce, widely respected, and has no unintended consequences. (It achieves these remarkable properties because it is written on unicorn vellum.)

      1) Eliminate no-fault divorce.
      2) Rebuttable (fairly high standard) presumption of custody to fathers.
      3) Eliminate welfare for any except widows and orphans. (baby mamas don’t get welfare.)
      4) Eliminate collective bargaining in all forms of public education.
      5) Implement school vouchers that are useable across a “commuting” region.
      6) Eliminate child support except where fault is established. (Note: bailing on the marriage = “fault”. No marriage, no bail.)

      The only way to change the encounter is to have raised Trayvon Martin in such a fashion that attacking Zimmerman for no reason wouldn’t have even entered his mind. That means raising him properly, which clearly didn’t happen. His parents failed him, his “village” failed him, and he failed himself.

    26. PenGun Says:

      The reason Zimmerman walked was the “stand your ground” law in Florida.

      It was OK for him to stalk Trayvon and then kill him when confronted forcibly enough to cause Zimmerman some badly specified level of fear. It was perfectly legal.

      That’s yer problem folks.

    27. Jonathan Says:

      Pengun, your first two assertions are false, which means your third assertion is false.

      The jury acquitted because they believed that Martin threw the first punch, that he subsequently pinned Zimmerman on the sidewalk and beat him, and that there wasn’t enough evidence to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Zimmerman had sought to harm Martin.

      Stand your ground is a red herring, since Zimmerman was unable to retreat.

    28. Michael Kennedy Says:

      PenGun can’t handle the truth, as he has proven repeatedly,

    29. tyouth Says:

      Clearly it was a case of self defense since he was actively being attacked. Stand you ground means (of course) that you don’t have to run away to avoid a threat before an attack.

      IT WAS OK (legal and permissible) for him to follow Treyvon, but, like a pale person walking down a street south of Chicago, possibly unwise. Being unwise here is not indictable (we’ll see if the DOJ can find something though).

      I think the young man confusedly and simply had images of himself as a “tough guy” …. He took the media driven gangster “culture” to heart. It was too bad.

      I think Biker Dad (above) said it well in accessing causality: “That means raising him properly, which clearly didn’t happen. His parents failed him, his “village” failed him, and he failed himself.”

    30. Bill Brandt Says:

      I read somewhere (maybe linked here many months ago) the comments of a guy who teaches self defense with firearms. Wish I could find it today but it is under a Google deluge somewhere.

      But in essence he was saying that it is unwise to step into those situations unless your life or safety is in danger, or someone else’s.

      IOW mind your own business.

      Had an interesting exchange at a dinner with a couple – one is a police officer and his wife a 911 dispatch operator.

      The husband, who faces possible violence each day, sided with Zimmerman – seeing the exact situation cops are faced with. And Zimmerman acted by this point in self defense, with a fear for his life (as Martin is slamming his head on the concrete).

      The wife, as a 911 dispatcher, wasn’t as sympathetic. She said that she is constantly telling callers not to follow “suspicious people” but wait for the police.

      As to Martin Biker Dad described it well. Or as someone told me years ago that “Life is nothing more than choices

    31. Sun_Zeneise Says:

      There seems to be a divergent understanding of Stand Your Ground (SYG) law. Here’s a succinct explanation by Andrew Branca an expert on the law self-defense, who has mastered the record of the Zimmerman trial:

      Traditionally, it was required that you take advantage of a safe avenue of retreat, if such was reasonably available to you, before using deadly force in self-defense. This was what is referred to as a generalized duty to retreat. It always had exceptions, such as the Castle Doctrine which lifts the duty when you are in your home.

      The “stand-your-ground” law expands the scope of the Castle Doctrine beyond your home to every place you have a right to be. So, even if there were a safe avenue of retreat reasonably available to you, you no longer have a legal duty to attempt to make use of it before using deadly force in self-defense.

      The duty to retreat itself, however, only applies where safe retreat is possible. If there is no safe avenue of retreat, there is no duty. If there is no duty, the “stand-your-ground” statute that relieves you of that duty is irrelevant.

      This was this situation in the Zimmerman case. When George Zimmerman made the decision to use deadly force in self-defense he had already been trying to escape for at least the 45 seconds he was screaming for help and getting his head smashed into a sidewalk. There simply was no reasonably safe avenue of retreat available to him. Therefore he had no duty to retreat, and without any such duty “stand-your-ground” has no role to play in lifting that duty.

      http://legalinsurrection.com/2013/07/the-marissa-alexander-case-wasnt-about-stand-your-ground-either/

    32. Jonathan Says:

      Legislatures enacted “stand your ground” laws in many cases, as in FL, as a remedy to abuses by anti-self-defense prosecutors. Before stand your ground, people who defended themselves from deadly attack were sometimes prosecuted, or threatened with prosecution, if a state’s attorney decided to make a hindsight argument that they hadn’t retreated enough.

      The new laws, enacted in response to popular outrage at these prosecutors who were willfully ignoring the spirit of the law, restored some balance in favor of law-abiding people. It is dishonest or stupid to assert that such laws promote murder, since anyone who kills and claims self-defense must still meet stringent legal requirements or face prosecution. Thus Zimmerman probably would have been convicted if he had started the fight or if Martin had run away after punching him and Zimmerman had pursued him. The idea that the acquittal of Zimmerman confers some kind of license for whites to kill blacks is idiotic, but that won’t stop it from being politically useful for demagogues whose constituents are idiots.

    33. Gringo Says:

      PenGun
      The reason Zimmerman walked was the “stand your ground” law in Florida.

      One more time. PenGun shows he is more interested in munching bark out on Vancouver Island than in acquainting himself with the facts of what is being discussed. Were PenGun a US citizen, he might be termed a Low Information Voter. Fortunately, PenGun may not vote in US elections, though I am certain the Obama team would like to make that possible for residents and citizens of Canada. The Zimmerman defense never brought up Stand Your Ground, as Self Defense is the appropriate response to Ground and Pound.
      Since Stand Your Ground has been brought up, here is some interesting information on Stand Your Ground:Blacks benefit from Florida ‘Stand Your Ground’ law at disproportionate rate.

      African Americans benefit from Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” self-defense law at a rate far out of proportion to their presence in the state’s population, despite an assertion by Attorney General Eric Holder that repealing “Stand Your Ground” would help African Americans.
      Black Floridians have made about a third of the state’s total “Stand Your Ground” claims in homicide cases, a rate nearly double the black percentage of Florida’s population. The majority of those claims have been successful, a success rate that exceeds that for Florida whites.

      As blacks have disproportionately benefited from Stand Your Ground in Florida, would that mean that those who are opposed to Stand Your Ground law are- perish the thought- racist?

    34. PenGun Says:

      “Pengun, your first two assertions are false, which means your third assertion is false.”

      It was a juror who said the “stand your ground” law forced her to vote not guilty.

    35. Sun_Zeneise Says:

      Remedial study for PenGun:

      http://legalinsurrection.com/2013/07/soap-in-a-sponge-the-enduring-myth-that-george-zimmerman-was-told-not-to-get-out-of-his-car//#more

    36. PenGun Says:

      Oh please Sun … I seem to know more about this than you. Certainly legalinsurrection has little to teach me.

      The point I made was that “stand your ground” was the problem here and one of the jurors who freed him agrees with me.

      I don’t know about the logical processes you use but that tells me I’m right.

    37. Sgt. Mom Says:

      LegalInsurrection has little to teach you, Pengunny? Oh, dear lord… and you are trying to lord it all over us with appeals to you great wisdom and authoriteh?

      *snicker*

      I don’t know about the others, Pengunny – but I’m not laughing with you … I’m laughing AT you!

    38. Bill Brandt Says:

      You aren’t alone Sgt Mom ;-)

    39. Jonathan Says:

      It was a juror who said the “stand your ground” law forced her to vote not guilty.

      Zimmerman probably would have walked in any case as his behavior was a classic case of justified self-defense. Stand your ground was irrelevant. It was mentioned in the jury instructions but it was not an issue in the trial — it was irrelevant to the facts of the case because either Zimmerman had pinned Martin in order to murder him, as the prosecution claimed, in which case no self-defense argument could have justified Zimmerman’s actions, or Martin had pinned Zimmerman and Zimmerman was unable to flee.

      I notice that you leap to debate a point on which you (mistakenly) believe yourself to be on somewhat firm ground, while you ignore the takedowns of your outrageous statement that It was OK for him to stalk Trayvon and then kill him when confronted forcibly enough to cause Zimmerman some badly specified level of fear. It was perfectly legal. This is a frequent tactic of yours when you are caught out making multiple erroneous assertions.

    40. tyouth Says:

      PenGun said ” It was a juror who said the “stand your ground” law forced her to vote not guilty.” This is an outright lie, she did not say that, and I think PenGun knows it. This makes you despicable PG.

      Think Progress has the money shot this way: she said ” Because of the heat of the moment and the Stand Your Ground. He had a right to defend himself. If he felt threatened that his life was going to be taken away from him or he was going to have bodily harm, he had a right.” This is miles away from PG’s lie.

      A typical example from the Miami Herald lead paragraph: ” Jurors discussed Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground self-defense law before rendering their not-guilty verdict in George Zimmerman’s trial, one of the jurors told CNN’s Anderson Cooper.” Disinformationists of the left are empahsizing the SYG law and, by making it a part of the leading paragraph of their articles, implying that the simple discussion and examination of the law was crucial when in fact it was probably discussed early on and not a factor at all after they talked it all out. In the two days of deliberation many things were discussed and examined.

      Other left leaning organs are playing the same tune. The thing is that the jury “considered” a lot of things, (probably) including whether to have Chinese take-out or ham sandwiches for lunch. They considered many things that did not, in the end, play a part in their final verdict. The Left (media, the administrations DOJ, and black race hucksters) are propagandizing the trial to an incredible extent to, apparently, further limit the individuals’ range of legal activity provided by (in this case) the SYG law.

    41. PenGun Says:

      “PenGun said ” It was a juror who said the “stand your ground” law forced her to vote not guilty.” This is an outright lie, she did not say that, and I think PenGun knows it. This makes you despicable PG.”

      You guys are fun. Ya know sweetie if you are laughing at me I’m pretty sure that’s good.

      “A member of the jury that found George Zimmerman not guilty in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin has called for changes in Florida’s self-defence law, which she says gave jurors no option but to acquit the defendant.

      The juror’s statement adds to pleas from around the country to change the Stand Your Ground laws that more than 30 states have adopted. In Florida, demonstrators occupied a part of the governor’s office demanding that the state repeal or curtail its 2005 law.”

      Note the “which she says gave jurors no option but to acquit the defendant”. Now whatever she might believe, or whatever her knowledge of the law is irrelevant. It is sufficient that she felt she had to acquit Zimmerman because of the Stand Your Ground law.

    42. Jonathan Says:

      The article you cite says no such thing. It quotes a juror who apparently said that Florida’s self-defense law gave her no option but to acquit. This is as it should be if Zimmerman really was engaged in lawful self-defense. But the article then goes on to say that “The juror’s statement adds to pleas from around the country to change the Stand Your Ground laws that more than 30 states have adopted.” This is a non sequitur. While stand your ground is part of Florida’s self-defense law it is not synonymous with Florida’s self-defense law, and it was irrelevant to Zimmerman’s defense. Zimmerman was unable to flee as Martin had pinned him to the sidewalk; his legal defense would have been the same even if Florida’s law had no stand your ground provision. The article is therefore either confused or dishonest. As usual you don’t have a clue.

    43. solarman Says:

      I don’t think there is a law that will cover this one. Both individuals made unwise choices.

      Martin’s unwise choice was to foolishly decide to physically confront someone with a (legally held) concealed weapon. At 17 years of age this misjudgment cost him his life.

      Zimmerman’s unwise choice was not to consider the possible outcomes of his actions. A trained professional may well have been able to secure a better outcome. Zimmerman will have to live with the consequences of his actions in shooting Martin for the rest of his life.

      Given this situation again the outcome could well be the same.

    44. IGotBupkis, "'Faeces Evenio', Mr. Holder?" Says:

      }}} Regardless of the law, I’d rather be judged by 12 (or six women) than carried by 6. I will take my chances with a jury rather than suspend self defense as some protesters believe.

      Agreed. I don’t know when this got changed but it damned sure should be changed back, not just for homicide cases (but particularly) but for ALL cases which may potentially result in jail time.

    45. IGotBupkis, "'Faeces Evenio', Mr. Holder?" Says:

      }}} Zimmerman’s unwise choice was not to consider the possible outcomes of his actions.

      To be honest, I don’t think this was all that strong an issue. Zimmerman was attempting to keep a DISTANCE between him and his believed perp, not to confront him. He believed he had lost him completely, and got out of the car to determine his location specifically at the dispatcher’s request for better information. He DID keep an eye out for TM as he did no, but that was not his primary purpose. Had TM continued on his way home, then there would have been no issue, and TM would likely still be alive today. In fact, TM circled around (his exact path is unclear, but it seems likely the went around a building and through an “alley space” between them to wind up back at the central corridor where things happened. GZ meanwhile, went to the adjacent street to get an actual address to tell the dispatcher to give to the cops. This allowed TM to get behind him.

      The primary fact here is that TM had few marks on him other than the gun wound. This agrees with the notion that TM initiated the fight, not GZ, and did so by surprise, as it seems likely that, unencumbered by surprise, that GZ would have/should have at least gotten a few shots in to instill bruises (post-mortem, in this case) in a few places. TM thus had reach and surprise on his side, and this allowed him to gain all the benefit of the attack.

      The simple fact is that by all signs — TM imagined himself to be a tough-ass fighter and he saw himself a shorter, dumpy “creepy-assed cracker” that he could get away with wailing on. And he had the mindset to do it, not just from being a teen, but also from being a black person fed all the racist CRAP they’ve been fed for the last two-plus decades that says that nothing in the black situation is the fault of anyone but white people.

    46. IGotBupkis, "'Faeces Evenio', Mr. Holder?" Says:

      hrm. “did no” == “did so”.

    47. tyouth Says:

      Unwise, not unwise no matter, wisdom was not being judged. It isn’t unlawful to do unwise things unless the unwise things themselves are unlawful. Zim had as much legal standing to be where he was as Treyvon had.

      Treyvon was unwise and unlawful in attacking Zim.

      Zim was wise to be carrying.

      BTW, to say Zim was unwise to be walking where TM walked (or walked up to TM, or walked next to TM, or whatever) is an indictment of young black men and blatant racism.

      Surely one citizen must have the freedom to walk in the vicinity of another citizen in a public area without being accosted.