Self Defense Law; Florida vs. Virginia
The death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin inspired national sympathies and vigils. The impunity of his killer, George Zimmerman, however, ignited anger and concern. At the heart of the matter is this simple question: were George Zimmerman’s actions that night legally excusable, and does Zimmerman have protection under the law for shooting Trayvon Martin?
Martin’s death occurred in Florida, which has a controversial “Stand Your Ground” provision in its self-defense laws. This provision allows citizens to use deadly force when they “reasonably believe” they are in imminent danger. Zimmerman told police in Sanford, Florida that he was acting in self-defense when he confronted and shot Martin. Currently, Zimmerman still has not been arrested.