It is mystifying why Florida’s “stand your ground” law is even discussed in the context of Trayvon Martin’s fatal shooting by George Zimmerman on February 26. The law bears no relation whatever to the case. It says simply that a law-abiding person who is attacked “has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.”
Where’s the connection to this case? According to his own 9-1-1 call, Zimmerman says he pursued the unarmed 17-year-old Martin before shooting him dead. Zimmerman was not standing his ground.
And he uttered a racial slur (“fucking coon”) in reference to Martin, who was black, while following him and still on the 9-1-1 call. Why he is not under suspicion of murder by the authorities is curious to say the least.
[UPDATE: A prosecutor's affidavit filed after Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder states that Zimmerman said "these f------ punks" in his 911 call rather than the racial slur that had been reported earlier and that I heard in an enhanced recording played on television. However, the Associated Press reported: "In yet another passage in the affidavit that caught the attention of those watching the racially charged case, prosecutors said Zimmerman 'profiled' Martin just before the shooting. The document did not elaborate, and a spokeswoman for special prosecutor Angela Corey on Friday refused to explain it."]
As Roderick Long points out, some cable television pundits can’t make up their minds whether the killing was consistent with a law they don’t like or unlawful, which would enable them to condemn the authorities for letting Zimmerman remain at liberty.