Many pundits, like E.J. Dionne, are under the impression that somehow "Castle doctrine" and "Stand your ground" laws are responsible for the tragic death of Trayvon Martin. Let's get some things straight; since it did not occur on George Zimmerman's property, the castle doctrine--which applies only to incidents on a person's property--does not apply.
In the same way, "stand your ground" also does not apply for a very simple reason; the question at hand is whether Mr. Martin's actions posed an imminent threat of death or grievous injury to Mr. Zimmerman and whether lesser force could have stopped the threat.
For that matter, the "duty to retreat" enshrined in Minnesota law might even be a moot point even in Minnesota. Mr. Martin was a decent high school cornerback--meaning he was most likely much faster on his feet than Mr. Zimmerman--and the allegation is that after the first bit of the confrontation, Mr. Zimmerman was on his back.
And so it all comes down to simple questions; who started the fight, and whether Mr.Martin's actions posed a credible threat to Mr. Zimmerman's life. Lots of debate on that, but what's clear is that this tragedy has nothing to do with "stand your ground" or "castle doctrine" laws. Pray for a just verdict in this case, whatever the facts may be.
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