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Florida Gov. Jeb Bush Says ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law Doesn’t Apply to Trayvon Martin Shooting

Trayvon Martin

In the month since Trayvon Martin was gunned down on a Sanford, Florida gated community street, much has been said about Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law and what impact it may have on the prosecution of admitted shooter George Zimmerman.

Everything we know about the shooting thus far seems troubling, and advanced mental gymnastics are ostensibly required to make the logical leap from the paranoid “freelance police officer” on the 911 tape stalking an unarmed young man to a reasonable use of justified force resulting in a homicide. What it appears “Stand Your Ground” laws do is take what is known as the “Castle doctrine”- that in most jurisdictions in the US, you are not obligated to stand down when threatened in your home- a legally murky step further, allowing for a broader self-defense claim in civilian altercations.

Scarily, what the take away seems to be given the ongoing lack of charges against George Zimmerman and statements authorities have (carefully) made in addressing the case is that if your victim is dead enough, no charges can be brought if you claim they attacked you. Even given what seems to be overwhelming evidence that Zimmerman sought out, confronted and then shot a teen armed only with Skittles and a can of iced tea, the fact that Zimmerman (a man who is well served avoiding prosecution in Trayvon Martin’s death) says Martin was somehow the aggressor means we should take him at his word and while the death of a teen is tragic, it’s unavoidable since he was wearing a deadly hoodie. Or something.

The implications are terrifying if such a precedent is allowed to stand, but Slate points out that even with the slightly weasel-y wording in the law, it still seems that Zimmerman did not act under its auspices, noting that deadly force is only permissible if the shooter “reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.” It should be restated at this point that not only did Zimmerman brandish a 9mm pistol, but he had 100 lbs. on Trayvon Martin- both circumstances making it highly unlikely the teen in any way acted to endanger his own life.

Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is a supporter of the “Stand Your Ground” law, but yesterday admitted that he did not know why an arrest was not made in the case and further, that the broad-spanning law did not seem to cover the ass of George Zimmerman. Speaking at an education panel at a Texas university, Bush said:

“This law does not apply to this particular circumstance… Stand your ground means stand your ground. It doesn’t mean chase after somebody who’s turned their back.”

Bush expressed sympathy to the family of Trayvon Martin, but also said that the wheels of justice can be slow:

“[The lack of arrest] doesn’t make sense to me… You’ve got to let the judicial process work. Hopefully it’s done at a pace that is respectful for people hurting.”

Bush said that he approves of the law when “applied properly.”

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19 Responses to “Florida Gov. Jeb Bush Says ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law Doesn’t Apply to Trayvon Martin Shooting”

  1. Furous Styles

    Wow! By stating that the "Stand Your Ground" law does not apply Jeb Bush has disavowed himself from any responsibility in this tragedy. Jeb Bush has shown his true colors… he is like all the rest of American law makers…. political cowards…. all glory of being governor…. no guts to take responsibility for signing a very bad law…

  2. DeLonn Eatmon

    I beleive Jeb Bush said the right thing, and things will go slowly in the prosecution of this man. Would you stand there and look like a dumb ass for the public if you signed a law that was meant for real self defense? Lets think about this? On the police phone call that man followed the boy… He made his complaint and the went ahead on and did what he did after the police said they were sending out a squad car. You would have to be a dumb ass to stand behind that, that evidence is clear as glass that that boy was maliciously attacked and Trayvon defended himself. Lets think about it and be real, that man ain't like that NIGGA, and he can say he ain't racist all day, but its obiously something wrong with him. Check the cuban and white high school girl down there and her fat friend that made that video saying "Its the NIGGERS" as the problem down in florida, then you got those white girls in Arizona making their videos on Mexicans, lets be real, that was a racially biased crime and that dude needs to go to jail for life, or get the chair or something, Because really think about it, if it was a minority stalking a white man in "the wrong neighborhood" then what the Fuck would happen then? Lets be real, these people doin all of this racially motivated stuff have never been formally discriminated against, and if so it was also by their white friends, so they feel the need to take a stand and show that that's where they fit in, fuck em, Live like we do, Go through what we go through then they will change their train of thought. because there is "The rest of America" who can live in peace and harmony.
    And with his comment, damn niggas always get away, lets see if he gets away, I hope he gets away and gets locked up with those who "got away".

    oh and jeb bush good shit man. Its not cowardess its common sense, just because a law is there does not mean abuse it until you can break it. For all you know that could have been a losers first position of authority and he decided to find a way for that to happen and get away with it, considering the boy was walking and knew where he ws going (not like he was following gps) Mr George Zimmerman could have been watching him long before that, Plotting…

  3. Chris Ground-Zero Amberger

    Even if he was the biggest gangster ever, that dude was dead wrong for chasing him down. It's pure stupidity that a kid had to lose his life like that

  4. Donna Renteria

    The man who did this should be hung! Trayvon was just a young man, no threat just being a good big bro! I agree it was PURE STUPIDITY!!!!

  5. Terrica Mccloud

    thank you Jeb, finally somebody said it the stand down law does not apply. that man cannot stand behind the stand down law. and the stand down law is not a bad law it is created to protect people from outside attackers and like the castle law (for attackers in the home) can only be used in a life or death situation. in the case where this man is unarmed the stand down law does not apply finally someone admits it. *Justice for Trayvon*.

  6. Terrica Mccloud

    you don't understand the stand your ground law. it is made to protect people from predators on foot. however in this case the law does not apply. it was important that someone said it because zimmerman was standing behind this law as reason for murdering trayvon but in this case where there is no proof of zimmerman's claimed injuries, trayvon was unarmed and zimmerman had both a car and a gun and did not listen to officers who told him not to follow trayvon, zimmerman had no one to blame but himself. its good that someone took the blanket that zimmerman was hiding under from him.

  7. Natasha Rae Baptiste

    What are you talking about? He clearly stated that that zimmerman should have been arrested and that the stand your ground law did not apply in this situation. He's just as confused as the rest of us as to why he's not sitting in jail. I do beleive that this law is dangerous in the wrong hands, clearly, but I can also understand his side of the issue, that this law was created for people who can't physically defend themselves from attackers.

  8. Danielle Burgess

    Not really, He said "the stand your ground law means stand your ground, not chase after someone with their back turned." Frankly, if someone was breaking into my house I'd use deadly force. They are breaking into MY home. Which is what the stand your ground law was originally for, 'stand your ground law' is when you feel your life is in danger and you MUST use deadly force to save yourself. He's saying that Zimmerman using the 'stand your ground law' should not apply to him simply because Zimmerman was chasing/following Trayvon (therefore Zimmerman's life was not in any danger) and then used deadly force/killed him in someone else's backyard. Which is not what the stand your ground law is about therefore, it should not be applied to Zimmerman's case.

  9. Becky Crissman

    It is not a bad law… It gives people the right to defend themselves. Zimmerman was advised by a dispatcher to cease his pursuit of Martin and he did not… That is where he should be charged and punished. the law does not apply to Zimmerman.

  10. Becky Crissman

    Furous Styles do you mean ALL LAWMAKERS or just the white ones. Bush is just as confused as everybody else as to why Zimmerman has not been arrested… He said that the law does not apply in this case… I did not get the impression that he was trying to hide behind anything.

  11. Furous Styles

    Just the white ones… LOL… If Bush is confused why would he support a bill that he would be a source of that confusion…. then clearly Bush did not think things through and signed a bill to make his NRA constituents happy… Of course Bush said the law does not apply in this case…. that resolves him from his confusion and for having passed a bill that is wrong… Zimmerman hides behind the stand your ground law to justify his ego driven actions… polar opposites of the same bill… and yes American law makers are as corrupt as those of ancient Rome prior to its fall… race, creed or color is irrelevant, lobbyist talk and bullshit bills like stand your ground walk… Read William Gibbons, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire…

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