COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The Zimmerman Case often brought up the question on whether Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin in self defense or not.
This issue drew attention to Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law. Georgia had a "Stand Your Ground" law for about one hundred years. Furthermore, more than half the states in the United States hold the Castle Doctrine and other laws that are similar to "Stand your Ground" laws.
Charles Miller, a lawyer in Columbus, explained that there are numerous cases where people try to use this defense, but the law tends to not work in their favor.
"Most states try to figure out if the person was trying to defend him or herself because he or she was fearful about severe bodily harm and safety," Miller explained. "The reason why there are many cases on this law not working out is simply because, people do not truly understand how the "Stand Your Ground" law works."
The person using this law cannot be the one who started the fight. Aggressors cannot use this law, since they started the problem in the first place. This law works for innocent people who were threatened and attacked; thus, these people have the right to defend themselves by using deadly forces to save their lives.
For states that do not have Castle Doctrine or "Stand Your Ground" laws, they also have what is called "Retreat to the Wall" statute, which requires a person to retreat and remove themselves from the situation.
Stand Your Ground law extends the federal law that already allows a person in his or her home to use lethal methods as protection. There will be situations where a victim fails to out run his or her aggressor or rely upon a law enforcement officer to appear at the scene all the time. This is the most compelling reason that a Stand Your Ground law is needed.
"People have to understand that these laws are not a license to kill. I don't want people to think that Stand Your Law means that you can kill people," Miller explained. "Again, a reasonable, innocent person has to believe that an aggressor was going to kill him or her. Then, the person can use deadly forces as self-defense to defend his or herself."