Stand Your Ground is Flawed

Apr 2, 2012

I feel terribly sad just like the rest of the country about the killing of Trayvon Martin. In Anthony Turner's article on the New York Times Learning Network, "Unarmed and Innocent about the death of Trayvon Martin," , he explains what happened and his opinion on the facts. He also shows his sadness towards Trayvon's situation and sympathy for his family.

In his article Turner says: “This [situation] brings up a lot of questions." His main questions are “When does an innocent high school student become 'intimidating' 'threatening' or 'suspicious'?" It is what George Zimmerman, the man who shot and killed Trayvon Martin said about his victim. What Anthony Turner said is very true. Should he be worried for his life because he fits in that description of what Zimmerman is intimidated by, which is a personal opinion how a person seems to another?

I believe the "Stand Your Ground Law" that Turner speaks of needs to be looked over again if that is going to be the case. If Zimmerman had the right to do that because of the Stand Your Ground Law, then Anthony should be afraid he is next. Basically now the only question is, when will it happened to someone like Anthony again?

I am learning more about the laws which will affect the case of Trayvon Martin. In particular what I am wondering about is about the Stand Your Ground Law. I was researching this Law online to learn more of what it is really about. I looked up "Stand Your Ground in Wikipedia and I found an article that gives information. It says this law can be used in defense of a person who did the killing.

In the case of Trayvon Martin, the man who killed him is now using that as his defense, and in the article by Anthony Turner he says: "Florida’s 'Stand Your Ground' law, which justifies bodily harm or death if the person feels intimidated or threatened, is so flawed: anyone can feel threatened if they are scared or paranoid about their safety.” This is very important and true, and this will play a big part in the case. I believe the law should be looked over again. That is also proof that Anthony Turner may feel the same.

The quote that I chose here is basically saying that the law can help someone when in a real situation of needing to defend yourself or stand your ground. But the law might also be flawed because it's an opinion on how intimidating a person needs to be to kill and there is a limit. As Turner says, “A can feel scared or paranoid about their safety." This is absolutely true.

I think this is strong statement because it makes me wonder how many other people tried to use the Stand Your Ground Law as their defense but were never in any type distress. When it came time to telling their stories, they could have pretended they were intimidated or scared. Everyone is different so it's possible the man who killed Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman could have just been paranoid.

Paranoia can come in many kinds of ways and it is not a good defense to say you are paranoid. He could have been a little paranoid with his thoughts and could have also had compulsive thoughts that lead him to do what he did. Therefore everyone is not the same, some might be crazy and some untruthful and more. So considering those things the law needs to go away.

A third sentence in Turner's essay that stood out to me was: “As a young black male myself, I sometimes get the sense people judge me on my appearance.” That stood out to me because he is putting himself in Trayvon's place, and it brings questions and valid points to develop his essay.

I do agree with Anthony Turner's opinion because he puts himself his Trayvon shoes. That incident could have happened to anyone like Trayvon and Anthony himself who fits that description. A hoodie isn't a bad thing. It is just comfort wear and affordable wear for young people, but the main point is why should he have to feel like he has done something wrong when he travels anywhere?

I appreciate the Anthony Turner's essay because he brings a lot of good points for a jury to consider and understand because his points are very valid and correct not just an opinion. I look forward to seeing what he writes next. He is a very talented writer with very bright things to say. He explains important things as if he were Trayvon Martin's attorney which is a good thing. I look forward to seeing what he has to say on other topics.

Note: This was also posted on the New York Times Learning Network:


Dear Jocelyn, I am glad with

shatiat's picture
Submitted by shatiat on Tue, 2012-04-03 10:28.

Dear Jocelyn,

I am glad with your post about Trayvon martin because it was a tragic thing to happen to somebody over a petty situation that happens everyday.

One sentence that you wrote that stood out to me is when u said "when does a high school student become intimidating and suspicious?". this happens commonly in the black community when racial profiling plays a big part in arrest, random stops by the police and murders.

Your post reminds me of the Sean bell story. a black man coming from his bachelors party when his wedding was the next day was fatally shot by a rain of bullets from the police.he was unarmed.

Police sometimes to me let they're badge get to them. police officers has a sense of authority to an extent. they take it too far in some story's I hear about on the news and when they wrongly kill someone they blame self defense or they come up with a story that the suspect resisted arrest in a way that they had to get shot like an animal.
the man who killed Trayvon martin wasn't even a cop, he was a neighborhood watch. having skittles and a juice with a hood on made Trayvon a suspect, being black to me added on to the situation. even though slavery been over racism still exists in the world. he was unarmed the situation could have been handle differently. the government to me is just as responsible for not setting justice in the story. the man claims self-defense but nobody knows what happen but them two. he roams free while somebody child is dead.

Thanks for writing I look forward to reading more from you to see your outlook on the situation as is progresses.

I agree with your points.

joscelyned's picture
Submitted by joscelyned on Tue, 2012-04-03 11:07.

I agree with your points. They were very good ones, enough for even a jury to listen too. Thank you very much for your response.

I agree

Submitted by andrewa on Wed, 2012-04-04 13:07.

Dear Jocelyn,

I completely agree with what you are writing about here. It is a tragedy what happened to Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman has no excuse for what he did. I have heard the 911 calls from the incident and it clearly doesn't sound like the voice of a grown man screaming out for help. Trayvon Martin was simply minding his own business when he was gunned down. How could you possibly feel threatened when you approach someone who is unarmed, but you have a gun? That is Zimmerman's case and I think it is absolutely ridiculous. If we live in a day and age where it is ok to shoot someone simply by saying that you felt "threatened" then I am a little frightened. Where do we draw the line in this kind of case? Murder is murder, especially when the victim is an unarmed teenage boy.

Jocelyn, I really enjoyed

Submitted by CListon on Wed, 2012-04-04 13:08.

I really enjoyed this post. I have only briefly heard about this incident, so it was nice to hear exactly what happened. I really liked your quote, "the law might also be flawed because it's an opinion on how intimidating a person needs to be to kill and there is a limit."I didn't hear about this law before, but I agree completely with what you said. I don't think that is a very solid law, and it should be adjusted accordingly. It will be interesting to see what happens in court.I also thought that the statement you quote, "As a young black male myself, I sometimes get the sense people judge me on my appearance," from Anthony Turner makes you think. I personally cannot relate because I am a generic white, male. But that statement makes me think about what some people are going through, and how things still need some change. In regards to the hoodie situation, I agree it should just be something comfortable to wear, and you shouldn't feel like something is wrong; I wear hoodies all the time.
Overall, I really like your post, and how informative it is, including different sources. Good job!

I definitely agree!

kaylac's picture
Submitted by kaylac on Thu, 2012-04-05 11:03.

I definitely agree with what you wrote here. What happened to Trayvon was unnecessary and uncalled for. That could have been anyone, that could have been me. There was no excuse for Zimmerman at all, he should be behind bars. Trayvon was Unarmed and minding his own business and killed. This crime done because of hate of another race and abuse of the law. The Florida "Stand Your Ground Law" is a disgrace! Anyone can feel intimidated, or not even feel intimidated but use it to get away with murder. Its the reason why an innocent boy is dead now, and probably the reason for further crime. This is giving an example to someone that they can get away with murder because they "feel" threatened or "intimidated". Its not fair to people who may come off intimidating or the person feeling intimidated because the person coming off intimidating may not even know they are intimidating and the person feeling intimidated can choose to either kill the person or just get away. Its really unfair, a little boy didn't have to die...

Thank you for your comment. I

joscelyned's picture
Submitted by joscelyned on Sat, 2012-04-14 11:47.

Thank you for your comment.
I am very glad that we are all on the same page.
Justice will prevail and that law will be changed.