Stand Your Ground and Self Defense
How do Florida's Stand Your Ground and self-defense laws fit into the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin case and what's the difference between them?
Read this account in the Miami Herald by Scott Hiassen and David Ovalle of the Quentin Wyche case, which is still ongoing. It involves two FIU football players. One, Kendall Berry, is dead. The other, Quentin Wyche, has been charged with second degree murder as a result of stabbing Berry to death. Wyche raised "Stand Your Ground" as a bar to prosecution, which required the judge to hold a factual hearing. The judge said he couldn't decide between the competing evidence presented by the state and defense, so he denied the motion. It will go to a jury trial where Wyche can still raise both stand your ground and self defense.
The Judge is Miami Circuit Court Judge Milton Hirsch, whom I know and respect. He was a long time criminal defense lawyer before becoming a judge. I asked Scott Hiassen for a copy of the opinion and he graciously emailed it to me. I have uploaded it here.
While the facts are different than those involved in the George Zimmerman - Trayvon Martin shooting, after reading a dozen or so Florida court opinions on Stand Your Ground and self-defense, I think Judge Hirsch explains them and the court procedures most clearly (minus his Shakespeare and historical references, sorry Judge Hirsch.) [More...]
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