Just got back from a weekend up North and saw this.
So is this a misrepresentation or a purposeful "misdirection"?
Travon Martin was not shot at George Zimmerman's home, business or vehicle. So the Stand Your Ground can't be in force at the time of death. If that is the case how was Zimmerman not held for suspision of manslaughter immeadiately?
Are you trying to "stretch" the truth to make your point look "more" reasonable?
Neither one. jman commented on and posted a link to the text of 2011 Wisconsin Act 94, otherwise known as the "Castle Doctrine" law. The last time I checked the Martin/Zimmerman case was in Florida and will be judged under Florida law, not Wisconsin's.
The problem I'm seeing here is that a lot of you are confusing "castle doctrine" and "stand your ground." They're really separate legal concepts although there is the possibility (but not the necessity) of interplay between them.
I think I've done it before, but let me try to briefly clarify these two concepts again.
As I stated before, one of the things looked at in a self-defense case is whether the person used a "reasonable amount of force" for their defense against another person. In answering this question, sometimes a jury can be instructed to consider whether the actor (i.e., defendant) had the opportunity or ability to flee. If they believe there was that ability, but the actor did not take advantage of it, they may rule that the actor used more force than necessary because, under the circumstances of the case, the actor could have used lesser force (escape) instead of whatever level of force they did
"Stand your ground" is simply the legal concept that if you are legally entitled to be at the place you're at when you defend yourself (e.g., not trespassing or in the act of committing a crime) then you have no legal obligation to flee an attack. In other words, any opportunity to flee or escape that you may have had won't be used against you if you did not take advantage of the opportunity. Obviously the opportunity to escape or flee is not always present, but it may be in some cases.
As far as I have been able to determine, the concept of "stand your ground" is in effect in one form or another in almost every, if not every state in the USA. Wisconsin has always been a "stand your ground state" because the legislature has never put anything into the statutes saying that a person has an obligation to flee an attack. This was confirmed in 1909 by the state Supreme Court. However in 1999 in the case "State v Wenger" the court of appeals muddied things up a bit when it ruled "While there is no statutory duty to retreat, whether the opportunity to retreat was available goes to whether the defendant reasonably believed the force used was necessary to prevent an interference with his or her person.
" So basically the court said "yeah, you have no legal duty to retreat, but we'll allow a jury to take whether you had the opportunity to retreat it into consideration when judging whether your belief that force was needed was reasonable."
Along with establishing a Castle Doctrine in Wisconsin, Act 94 removed the Wenger jury instructions from the picture from 3 places: your dwelling, your vehicle and your place of business. Presumably the Wenger provision is still fully in effect whenever you use self-defense anywhere outside of those 3 places. The rationale, as I understand it, is that when you are in your vehicle, home or business you ARE already in your place of retreat and it is unreasonable or wrong on some other grounds to expect a person to retreat from what already is a place of retreat.
Castle Doctrine is simply the awarding of certain legal protections or immunities in certain places. In Wisconsin they chose the vehicle, car and business as the places where, if someone is in the act of unlawfully and forcibly entering there is the presumption that the use of force, up to and including deadly force, is justified in defense. It is certainly not a free ticket to kill any person who happens to be inside one of those three places. Some have suggested that it allows a person to kill their spouse or family member. Well, not really since those people are not normally unlawfully and forcibly entering the place where they also live.
I know somebody will say that it's "easy to lie" and just tell the police that a person was in the process of breaking in
and they'll have to take your word for it. Well, no they don't. No law in the world can stop a person from lying about something. Lying is a matter addressed by good police work, not by some law. It would be a simple matter for someone to just randomly shoot another person when nobody else is around and then toss a knife down and say "he came at me with a knife so I was forced to shoot." No law could possibly prevent that from happening. The only thing that can counter lying about such a thing is a good investigation by the police to determine whether everything adds up. The police can be fairly resourceful and skilled with conducting investigations, and if you shoot a person and tell the cops "he was in the process of unlawfully and forcibly entering my home" I'm sure they'll want to poke around and decide whether they agree with it. The Castle Doctrine doesn't say they have to accept anyone's statement at face value.