In Florida, here’s how the Stand Your Ground Law is working out:
If you’re a middle aged male, and you stalk a teenager you suspect to be a criminal, and kill him, you can go free.
If you’re an older white man, and you catch your wife cheating, you get to kill her lover and go free.
If you’re a black woman, and you fire a warning shot to scare off a physically abusive husband who’s aggressively coming at you, after saying, “If I can’t have you, no one will,” then you get to go to prison for 20 years.
There are so many things wrong here I’m not sure where to begin, but racism, sexism, and bigotry jump right out there to the top of the list. And I think it’s fair to say, given these examples, the laws work for some, but not others…
July 13, George Zimmerman, who was charged with killing, teenager, Trayvon Martin, in Miami Gardens, Florida received a not guilty verdict by a Florida jury. Playing ‘cop’ as a neighborhood watch captain, Zimmerman stalked Martin, there was an altercation, and Zimmerman shot Trayvon dead. Zimmerman is now a free man.
This past March, Ralph Wald, 70, got up in the middle of the night, saw his wife Johanna Lynn Flores, 41, in the living room, the arms of his neighbor, Walter Conley, 32. Wald grabbed his gun and shot Conley in the back, three times, killing him. Ward later claimed he thought Conley, a known lover of his wife’s, was raping her. He used the the Stand Your Ground law to bypass justice. On May 30, Ralph Wald walked out of court a free man. It would seem nothing good could come from the above cases, but something did. The Zimmerman and Ward cases have brought back light to one of most racist out-of-judicial-whack-job cases in Florida courts.
Three years ago, Marissa Alexander, 31, mother of three, acted in self-defense, hurting no one, and she received a 20-year conviction. Within 12 minutes, the jury found her guilty of aggravated assault, even though her estranged abusive husband admitted in his deposition, she had every right to do what she did. (more…)