Letter: ‘Stand your ground’ encourages deadly force
George Zimmerman was a suburban cowboy, wannabe cop, with an inflated ego and reckless disposition. His behavior resulted in the death of a 17-year-old who had his whole life in front of him.
When Zimmerman insisted on pursuing Trayvon Martin that night, he unnecessarily, and with exceedingly poor judgement, put both of their lives in danger. After being presented with the facts, a Florida jury decided that Zimmerman’s actions did not rise to the level of a crime. Although this outcome may seem unjust and disappointing, we must accept the judgement of this jury. It is the best that we have.
This was a difficult case from the beginning, as the only eyewitness to the incident was the defendant himself, and much of the remaining evidence was murky or in dispute. The lesson here is that when a deadly weapon is introduced into an emotional confrontation, what otherwise might have been a street brawl with scraped skin and bruised egos can have unintended tragic consequences.
Unfortunately “stand your ground” laws encourage the introduction of deadly force in situations where it would have otherwise been avoided.
Human life, especially that of an innocent teenager, is far too precious to be put in jeopardy by laws that encourage the use of deadly force by untrained and unstable characters such as Zimmerman.
So, was the acquittal of George Zimmerman unjust? Quite possibly. Was the homicide of Trayvon Martin unjust? Beyond a shadow of a doubt.