|“When you call Jhoon Rhee self-defense,
then you too can say … Nobody bothers me!
NOBODY BOTHERS ME! Call USA-
1000! Jhoon Rhee means might for right!”
Our DC readers of a certain age will
understand this reference.
‘Puter’s had about enough of liberal media outlets (not to mention names, but New York Times) opining on Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” statute (Fla. Stat. §776.013(3)) as the indubitable moral equivalent of declaring African-Americans a game species under Florida’s hunting laws.
In the wake of Saturday’s acquittal of George Zimmerman, the media’s anger at six stupid jurors refusing to provide an imprimatur for liberalism’s preferred narrative has transformed into an irrational jihad against what, when properly understood, is an uncontroversial statutory enactment of preexisting common law doctrine.
The common law doctrine of self-defense using deadly force is a five part test:
1. Defendant reasonably believed his act was necessary to defend himself.
2. Defendant reasonably believed he was threatened with physical harm.
3. The threatened harm was imminent.
4. The threatened harm was unlawful.
5. Defendant reasonably believed his assailant was about to inflict death or great bodily harm upon him.
Under common law, however, the defendant also has duty to retreat before resorting to deadly force. If defendant had no opportunity to retreat, or looked for an opportunity to retreat but could not find one, defendant has no duty to retreat. Defendants under common law have no duty to retreat in their home, which is called the castle doctrine.
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.
Liberal commentators read this statutory provision to mean a defendant is permitted to go Dirty Harry on teenaged African-American shopping cart wranglers down at the Publix, gunning these young men down because the defendant feared being run over by a 50 foot train of assembled shopping carts as the cart wranglers return them to the store from the parking lot.
Not so fast, crazy Lefties. Let’s exercise a bit of reading comprehension here, shall we? Under the Stand Your Ground law, Florida’s legislature deleted consideration of the duty to retreat in public places where a person is lawfully present. But defendants still have to prove they reasonably believe deadly force is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to themselves or others.
No reasonable person believes it is necessary to use deadly force where retreat is available. In fact, if once can safely retreat, it is patently unreasonable to use deadly force. So, despite Florida’s attempt to remove the duty to retreat from a public situation, by leaving in the legislation a reasonable person standard, all it succeeded in doing was codifying existing common law self-defense standards. The duty to retreat is now simply part of the fact finder’s reasonable person consideration rather than a separate doctrine.
But, as @wfgodbold was quick to remind ‘Puter, reasonable minds can differ. The media’s reading of Florida’s Stand Your Ground law is supportable, as is ‘Puter’s interpretation. Unfortunately for the media, however, on the facts of this specific case, your position on the Stand Your Ground law is irrelevant.
Mr. Zimmerman was unable to retreat, as he was indisputably pinned down by Trayvon Martin as Mr. Martin repeatedly smashed Mr. Zimmerman’s head into the pavement, again and again and again. George Zimmerman was properly acquitted under either reading of Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, and would have been properly acquitted even if such law never existed.
As media itself frequently reminds us, it is entitled to its own opinion, but not its own facts. And it’s a fact that the Stand Your Ground law had zero impact on George Zimmerman’s acquittal.
Always right, unless he isn’t, the infallible Ghettoputer F. X. Gormogons claims to be an in-law of the Volgi, although no one really believes this.
’Puter carefully follows economic and financial trends, legal affairs, and serves as the Gormogons’ financial and legal advisor. He successfully defended us against a lawsuit from a liquor distributor worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid deliveries of bootleg shandies.
The Geep has an IQ so high it is untestable and attempts to measure it have resulted in dangerously unstable results as well as injuries to researchers. Coincidentally, he publishes intelligence tests as a side gig.
His sarcasm is so highly developed it borders on the psychic, and he is often able to insult a person even before meeting them. ’Puter enjoys hunting small game with 000 slugs and punt guns, correcting homilies in real time at Mass, and undermining unions. ’Puter likes to wear a hockey mask and carry an axe into public campgrounds, where he bursts into people’s tents and screams. As you might expect, he has been shot several times but remains completely undeterred.
He assures us that his obsessive fawning over news stories involving women teachers sleeping with young students is not Freudian in any way, although he admits something similar once happened to him. Uniquely, ’Puter is unable to speak, read, or write Russian, but he is able to sing it fluently.
Geep joined the order in the mid-1980s. He arrived at the Castle door with dozens of steamer trunks and an inarticulate hissing creature of astonishingly low intelligence he calls “Sleestak.” Ghettoputer appears to make his wishes known to Sleestak, although no one is sure whether this is the result of complex sign language, expert body posture reading, or simply beating Sleestak with a rubber mallet.
‘Puter suggests the Czar suck it.