Since its passage in 2005, Florida’s “stand your ground” law has protected people in circumstances similar to the possible sequence of events in the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman case, reports the Tampa Bay Times. The newspaper cites cases in which people pursued others, initiated a confrontation, and then used deadly force to defend themselves.
Citing the law, judges have granted immunity to killers who put themselves in danger, so long as their pursuit was not criminal, so long as the person using force had a right to be there, and so long as he could convince the judge he was in fear of great danger or death. The Times identified 140 cases in which “stand your ground” has been invoked, and many involve defendants whose lives were clearly in jeopardy. At least a dozen share similarities with what is known about the Trayvon Martin case, and they show the law has not always worked as its sponsors say they intended.