Wednesday, July 17, 2013

ALEC Written 'Stand Your Ground' Laws in the States Need Revoked NOW!

Sincerely hope that the Trayvon Martin murder (IMHO) by George Zimmerman is a wake up call to Americans that it is time to take a good look at the 'Stand Your Ground' laws that ALEC wrote for the states, the Republicans legislatures passed, Republican Governors signed and revoke them. 

Gun laws in the United States have gotten out of hand when you have a case in South Carolina where an intruder shoots the homeowner and claims 'Stand Your Ground.'  NRA, ALEC, GOP, and the gun culture have gone way too far and need stopped like yesterday.  If you cannot feel safe in your own home because an intruder 'could' have the right to kill you for interfering with his robbery, then there is something really wrong starting with defense attorneys who truly are showing they are the scumbags of the legal profession with the 'Stand Your Ground' defense for an intruder.  It is one thing to present a defense but another to throw in such a bogus defense, costing the state time and money for the SC Supreme Court to hear his 'Stand Your Ground' legal defense for an intruder.   
Armed Intruder Who Shot Homeowner Argues ‘Stand Your Ground’ DefenseBy Rebecca Leber on Jul 17, 2013 at 3:30 pm 
While the country had its attention turned toward George Zimmerman’s trial, an armed intruder in South Carolina attempted to use the same legal defense that gained infamy in the early days of the Zimmerman case. 
Gregg Isaac began his trial last week for a confessed home invasion in 2005, where he shot and killed Antonio Corbitt in front of an 8-year-old child. After the trial judge originally denied Isaac’s motion that he could use deadly force under the state’s version of Stand Your Ground law, the South Carolina Supreme Court agreed to halt the proceedings and hear the case to determine a procedural point. 
The reason the Supreme Court will consider the case has to do with exactly when a judge should hold a hearing to determine whether the defendant is immune from going to trial and the defendant’s right to immediately appeal; it will not tackle the substance of the law, according to The State. If the Stand Your Ground hearing determines the shooter was protecting himself in a place he had a legal right to be, then the case never proceeds to a trial. 
The state’s 2006 law is nearly identical to American Legislative Exchange Council model legislation that states a person not engaging in unlawful activity has no duty to retreat and “has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force.” 
Isaac almost certainly would not win with this argument. He did not have a legal right to Corbitt’s apartment: He broke in with two other men, and when the resident looked like he “was going to pull a gun from his pants” Isaac shot him twice. Even though Isaac does not have a credible chance to walk free under Stand Your Ground, the South Carolina Supreme Court may decide he should get the hearing that was previously denied where his lawyer will repeat the argument. Once rejected, the case would move onto a murder trial.
Read More at Think Progress
I am sitting here stunned that there should even be a hearing on 'Stand Your Ground' during a break-in as the perpetrator had no business being in the guy's apartment.  Has 'Stand Your Ground' defense now superseded the right to 'Self Defense?'

When are people going to wake up and realize that ALEC is bad for the Country and that all 'Stand Your Ground' laws need revoked as they further gun violence don't help stop it?  Regular people in this Country who don't believe in carrying guns are at a disadvantage today if we look at someone cross eyed or look like we are threatening them.  With this mentality, they have a right to shoot us if they feel threatened.

Open Carry is nothing but a bunch of men who think Open Carry makes them 'real' men who no one can mess with.  If they need a gun to be a 'real' man, then they have a problem because without a gun it sounds like they are afraid of their own shadow.  The NRA has played into this culture of men needing a gun to have a backbone.  How many people are going to be killed because some guy with a gun believes he is now invincible?  How many women who have been physically or mentally abused by their husband over the years now fear for their lives if that abuser is now carrying?

When hard right Conservative puppets of the Koch Brothers took over the Republican Party, few could have realized how bad it would be for America.  If conservatives had a backbone, they would stand up to the Kochs and their vast network of organizations along with millions of dollars they spend to get their way and tell them STOP -- 'no more ALEC writing legislation.'   Many members of Congress and elected Republican officials in the States are bought and paid for by the numerous Koch entities they fund.  ALEC and Americans for Prosperity are two of the worst along with Heritage and CATO.  The Libertarian Kochs have brought their brand of governing to the States through ALEC which is a disaster for most residents of states buying into the Koch koolaid.  It is terrifying that they could have taken it nationwide if Romney had been elected President.  They must be stopped in their tracks along with the Conservative movement who put Ayn Rand #1 in their world even though they profess to be Christian and she was an atheist.

The abbreviation on Twitter for Conservative is "Con" which is actually quite appropriate as the conservative movement is conning the American people through these ALEC laws passed in the states on guns, environment, and energy.  It is all to make the wealthy have more wealth and control the other 98%.  Some of the base of the GOP are standing up for the wealthy like the Koch Bros even though they are having trouble making ends meet.  They have bought into the 'con' koolaid hook, line, and sinker.  People who normally think have decided to believe whatever the Koch Bros, Rush, Fox News and other conservative media are peddling today and will fight anyone who disagrees.  Would hate to be considered such an intellectual lightweight that I had to be told what to think and what to say.  Trust me that is not my problem as people who know me will agree.  I get in more trouble for speaking what is on my mind in politics.

What is with conservatives who support these draconian gun rights so that the gun owner has more rights then the innocent bystander.  A person can follow an unarmed person while armed, kill them, and get away scott free because of the way the jury instructions are now worded if they are in a state with the ALEC 'Stand Your Ground' law.   The difference in jury instructions in Florida before and after 'Stand Your Ground' was passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Jeb Bush is chilling as you can read from Media Matters below:
Zimmerman Trial Jury Instructions Included Explanation Of Stand Your Ground Defense. The jury instructions for the Zimmerman trial, meant to be a guide for the relevant charges and defenses under Florida law, included the Stand Your Ground justification for homicide: 
In deciding whether George Zimmerman was justified in the use of deadly force, you must judge him by the circumstances by which he was surrounded at the time the force was used. The danger facing George Zimmerman need not have been actual; however, to justify the use of deadly force, the appearance of danger must have been so real that a reasonably cautious and prudent person under the same circumstances would have believed that the danger could be avoided only through the use of that force. Based upon appearances, George Zimmerman must have actually believed that the danger was real.
If George Zimmerman was not engaged in an unlawful activity and was attacked in anyplace where he had a right to be, he had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he reasonably believed that it was necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony. [, via Media Matters for America, accessed 7/16/13, emphasis added] 
Stand Your Ground Opponent Dan Gelber: Law "Fundamentally Changed The Analysis Used By Juries To Assign Blame In These Cases." On his blog, Gelber, a former Florida state senator, provided the pre-Stand Your Ground jury instructions which would have asked whether Zimmerman "used every reasonable means within his power and consistent with his own safety to avoid the danger before resorting to that force": 
In 2005 the Florida Legislature fundamentally changed the analysis used by juries to assign blame in these cases. When the legislature passed the Stand Your Ground law it changed the rules of engagement. It eliminated the duty to avoid the danger and it eliminated any duty to retreat. 
If the Trayvon Martin killing was tried prior to the Stand Your Ground law being passed, the jury would have been told that self-defense was not available to Zimmerman unless he had used every reasonable means to avoid the danger. The jury would have been told that even if they believed Zimmerman had been attacked wrongfully by Trayvon, he could not use deadly force if he could have safely retreated or run away. 
 Here is the actual jury instruction read to Florida juries prior to the legislature's enactment of Stand Your Ground.  
"The defendant cannot justify the use of force likely to cause death or great bodily harm unless he used every reasonable means within his power and consistent with his own safety to avoid the danger before resorting to that force.   
The fact that the defendant was wrongfully attacked cannot justify his use of force likely to cause death or great bodily harm if by retreating he could have avoided the need to use that force."  
In this case, did Zimmerman use "every reasonable means within his avoid the danger" or did he follow Trayvon despite admonitions that he did not need to? [The Gelber Blog, 7/14/13, emphasis original]
The difference in jury instructions should concern every last American.  The person with the gun seems to have more rights as the bar to shoot another person appears to be very low low in states where they allowed ALEC to write their 'Stand Your Ground' laws.   American people need to do whatever they can to revoke these 'Stand Your Ground' laws which have taken the scales of justice and tilted them in the favor of the gun owner.  

Sincerely hope that the Trayvon Martin murder (IMHO) 'by George Zimmerman is a wake up call to Americans that it is time to take a good look at the 'Stand Your Ground' laws that ALEC wrote for the states, the Republicans legislatures passed, Republican Governors signed and revoke them.  Today's Republican Party is out of control and needs defeated big time so that this Country can truly return to "We the People" meaning all the people have equal rights and black mothers don't have to fear for their sons being out at nights because some redneck gun owner trying to prove he is a 'real' man  has a 'License to Kill' thanks to 'Stand Your Ground' laws in the states.

Time to revoke every last 'Stand Your Ground' law NOW!

1 comment:

  1. I hate to be a spoil sport but the NRA now says stand your ground laws are a basic human right. Where does it end?

    The Pink Flamingo