Trayvon Martin Was Standing His Ground
George E. Curry | 4/12/2012, 4:32 p.m.
State Rep. Dennis Baxley, the Ocala Republican who sponsored the bill in the House, told the Tampa Bay Times, "They got the goods on him [Zimmerman]. They need to prosecute whoever shot the kid. He has no protection under my law."
Jeb Bush, who signed the bill into law when he was governor of Florida, agrees.
"This law does not apply to this particular circumstance," he said. "Stand your ground means stand your ground. It doesn't mean chase after somebody who's turned their back."
Florida statute 776.013(3), known as the Stand Your Ground law, says, in part:
(a) person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.
Trayvon was clearly operating within those boundaries when he faced-off against Zimmerman. He was a guest in one of the townhouses and therefore had an undeniable reason to be in the neighborhood. He had no duty to retreat simply because Zimmerman was the aggressor. And Trayvon had every right to believe that the person who had been stalking him was intent on inflicting great bodily harm.
Regardless of how Zimmernan's family tries to spin the facts, it was Trayvon Martin who had the clear right to stand his ground. Whatever he did to Zimmerman was totally justified. And Zimmerman had no right to kill a 17-old-old youth carrying only a bag of candy and iced tea.
George E. Curry, former editor-in-chief of Emerge magazine, is editor-in-chief of the National Newspaper Publishers Association News Service and editorial director of Heart & Soul magazine.