Prosecutors in the George Zimmerman case were asked by media members last night after the verdict if self defense and Stand Your Ground laws made it more difficult to prosecute him. Both said no and both said in fact that the law in Florida hadn’t changed all that much at all since Stand Your Ground was passed in 2005. So much for that media meme. Still, I know it will come back time and again, so let’s get some quotes out there so even the folks who live on Hawthorne Blvd can understand them.
At 10:06, a reporter from the Miami Herald asks about the Stand Your Ground law.
Reporter: Can you talk about the Florida Stand Your Ground law and whether the changes in 2005 in the law affected the facts in this case and whether this case could have been won, perhaps, pre the changes in the law”
Prosecutor Angela Corey: “Well, justifiable use of deadly force has changed to a certain extent. Stand Your Ground is a procedural mechanism as we call it where we fully expected it because of what we were hearing that the defense would request a Stand Your Ground hearing, we would have put on the same evidence. It would have been front of just a judge instead of a jury.
Reporter: What about the duty to retreat aspect?
Prosecutor Corey: Well the duty to retreat aspect had sort of disappeared before Stand Your Ground kicked in.
And at 18:45 we have this question asked of Prosecutor De La Rionda,
“Could I get your impression of the 2005 expansion of the Florida self defense statutes? Does this make your job harder?”
Prosecutor Bernie De La Rionda, “You know self defense has existed for a long time. And we’ve dealt with it in Jackson for a long time. We’ve tried a lot of self defense cases; I’ve personally tried ten-15 self defense cases. They’re tough cases, but we accept it so… The law really hasn’t changed all that much. Stand Your Ground was a big thing, but really the law hasn’t changed. We have a right to bear arms and a right to self defense.”