Controversy about race, civil rights and gun ownership are the main themes associated with the Zimmerman-Martin murder case. With George Zimmerman, the 29-year-old who shot the 17-year-old unarmed kid, acquitted of murder and justified for self-defence, the entire nation protested against the verdict.
If Trayvon Martin’s case happened in the UK, what do you think could happen? I think it could happen similarly, except of course, it has its elegant British touches.
But of course, what made the case quite controversial was the “Stand Your Ground” law that actually protected Zimmerman for six weeks. That’s a long time for a “clean-up”. According to the Florida-based law, Zimmerman cannot receive a case until after six weeks of his murder and any activity case-related can be suspended. What makes it terrible is that fact-finding investigators will have nothing to report because all evidence could be cleared up.
If the UK adopted a “Stand Your Ground” law, most probably the local police will be powerless. Even if UK citizens wilfully want a firearm to defend themselves, they would need to go through rigorous processes. But then hey, you get your own firearm, and if you ever shot a kid, you’ll have some trouble with authorities. Reasonable force is one factor that would make a “Stand Your Ground” law fail. The jury must decide the amount of force reasonable and it is relevant that the defendant was acting against imminent attack.
The question of many US protesters is that how can a 17 year old kid actually maul a gigantic 29-year-old man? The answer to this would most probably be easy to UK citizens; he can’t and it is probably a use of excessive force to thwart something undesirable like a teenage kid.