Huckleby wrote:Overall, I think Zimmerman is guilty as sin - his thuggish behavior led to the death of Martin - but the problem is I don't know what he is guilty of.
He's guilty of murder. He instigated a confrontation that led to a death by his hands and there wasn't adequate time between the end of his 911 call (correction: I meant the end of the call with Ms. Jeantel, which was presumably the begining of the physical confrontation - 55 seconds) and the report of shots fired for him to legally retreat.
A person can't be the aggressor and also claim self-defense unless there's conduct clearly illustrating a desire to retreat and adequate time for the original victim to process that retreat is taking place. Judging purely from the times on the pre- and post-shooting 911 calls there just isn't enough time for retreat.
Being the aggressor also forfeits any possible application of Florida's "stand your ground" law, so that was never really at issue and it has no impact on the retreat requirement. I would argue that Mr. Martin had a reasonable belief that he was about to be subject to a forcible felony given that he was being followed by an adult at night, so he's the one who would have a "stand your ground" defense, giving him the right to use deadly force on Mr. Zimmerman, if things had ended differently.