Friday, June 28, 2013

If You're Following the Zimmerman Trial...

...and who of us in the business isn't, I strongly suggest that you check in with self-defense attorney and expert Andrew Branca at Legal Insurrection or at Mr. Branca's blog, Law Of Self Defense.

Branca is one of the most knowledgeable and thoughtful commentators on self-defense, and quite frankly he has had a profound effect on my own thinking. Everyone who owns a gun should also own, heck, memorize, Branca's book The Law of Self Defense.

I specifically haven't been doing "blow-by-blow" on the trial because I can't spend all day listening to the testimony. I do think, rightly or wrongly, this trial is going to have a major effect on how people at large perceive self defense, especially armed self defense...

9 comments:

Balloon Goes Up said...

LOL, we wrote essentially the same post at the same time.

_DonWorsham_ said...

Been following Branca's site since the trail began. Excellent observations.

LurkMastR said...

I'd also recommend Orlando Gun Lawyer Jon Gutmacher's blog. Mr. Gutmacher is the author of "Florida Firearms - Law, Use & Ownership". See it here: http://orlandocriminallawyer.blogspot.com/2013/06/zimmerman-trial-day-one.html

Anonymous said...

i'll just leave this here...

http://www.floridafirearmslaw.com/blog/

the guy who literally wrote the BOOK on FLORIDA firearms law.

Boston12GS said...

Thanks for the kind words, Michael, it's much appreciated. We should touch base, it's been a long time.

--Andrew

Boston12GS said...

Michael, I signed up for your e-news letter, so you should have my email via that method (couldn't find an email for you here in the short time I looked).

--Andrew

nj larry said...

I could care less about either party in this case but I got to tell ya that the neighbor Ms. Mora was the hi-lite of the testimony so far LOL.

DamDoc said...

just preordered branca's second edition and bookmarked the blog.. thanks for the links! michael bane, the industries best sales person.. to my wifes shagrin!

Anonymous said...

I can't recommend http://orlandocriminallawyer.blogspot.com or http://www.floridafirearmslaw.com/blog/ (which frames the first), because the author clearly didn't 'write the book', as this passage from his latest posting shows:

3. Take [hypothetical scenario] #2 [above] to the next level: Zimmerman challenges Trayvon "What are you doing here?", and Trayvon tells him to go to hell. Trayvon has every right to do that. Zimmerman persists, or maybe even grabs him trying to keep him there until the cops arrive -- Trayvon tries to break away, or slugs Zimmerman, and the fight's begun. In that case -- Zimmerman would have zero right to keep Trayvon there, and Trayvon would have the right to use force to escape. If this was the scenario -- Zimmerman would be guilty of manslaughter, as he would not likely have had a right of self defense being the "aggressor". However, like I previously said. There's NO evidence of this....

Now, maybe he's right Zimmerman would be found guilty of manslaughter in this hypothetical, either because of the politicization of the case or because that's how this tends to play out in real life (the authors of the book mentioned below says arrest and prosecution is almost a certainty), but he's ignoring a critical quirk of Florida law.

In the specific self-defense laws of states I'm familiar with, and in general, an initiator of violence cannot claim self-defense unless he retreats and otherwise clearly signals he's breaking off combat. But Florida law allows an initiator of non-"deadly force", as the state words it, to gain the right to use deadly force in self-defense if the other party escalates the combat to deadly force.

See the details here, section (2)(a).

Now, maybe this provision has been judicially nullified, but if so that wasn't noticed as of when the authors of Self Defense Laws of All 50 States (With Plain-Talk Summaries) published their 2010 edition, nor have I heard of any such case law in all the post-Martin shooting discussion.

(And case law is very important, e.g. my native Missouri has a very nice, you would think crystal clear Castle Doctrine that has been judicially nullified by our "Missouri Plan" picked higher courts according to the book.)