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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

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7/17/2013 12:35:00 PM
Zimmerman verdict doesn't change governor's position on Arizona's 'stand your ground' law
Gov. Brewer:
Gov. Brewer: "I support 'stand your own ground. I think it's important. I think it's a constitutional right.'

Howard Fischer
Capitol Media Services

PHOENIX -- Gov. Jan Brewer said Tuesday that nothing in the death of Trayvon Martin or the acquittal of George Zimmerman of murder charges gives her second thoughts about signing Arizona's own "stand your ground' law.

"The Zimmerman trial was heart-wrenching because it was a terrible tragedy that should never have happened,' Brewer said in her first public comments since the acquittal this past weekend.

"It did happen,' she continued. "And justice took its place.'

But the governor said the incident does not taint the whole concept behind the statute.

"I support 'stand your own ground,' ' she said.

"I think it's important,' Brewer continued. "I think it's a constitutional right.'

The essence of Zimmerman's defense was that he felt in danger. That was coupled with Florida law which says those who feel threatened with great bodily harm have no duty to retreat.

More to the point, they are entitled to "meet force with force, including deadly force,' if the person reasonably believes that is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to self or other, or prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

Arizona's version is somewhat more restrictive than the Florida statute.

It says there is no duty to retreat before threatening or using deadly physical force "if the person is in a place where the person may legally be and is not engaged in an unlawful act.'

But the language is paired with other laws which say that right to remain and fight is linked to someone elseís use or threatened use of deadly physical force. Bodily harm or preventing a felony are not justification.

Brewer said she does not see law allowing people to stand their ground as promoting situations where individuals purposely follow someone, leading to the incident, as testimony showed Zimmerman had done.

"I think anybody that, I mean, anybody that has a gun and has a right to carry it, that they would be very judicious in their actions and careful,' she said. And Brewer said it's wrong to blame what happened in Florida on the statute.

"Those kinds of things could happen even if you didn't have those laws,' the governor said.

The Arizona law was not introduced as separate legislation but tacked on to another unrelated measure dealing with guns near the end of the 2010 session.

Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee approved it after a 20-second promotion from a gun-rights lobbyist. And not a single legislator spoke out against it at any point.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, January 16, 2014
Article comment by: David in Cottonwood

"How dare you" what? How dare we form opinions based on logic, evidence, and facts instead of emotion and hyperbole? Regardless of Zimmerman’s character, the evidence showed Trayvon played a stupid game, and he won a stupid prize, Darwinism at its most brutal.

As I've said before, every other issue real or imagined aside, had Martin not jumped Zimmerman, Martin would still be alive Martin was responsible for his own death.

Posted: Thursday, January 16, 2014
Article comment by: J M

At age 16/17 I competed in Golden Gloves Boxing. I began @ light weight (135 lbs.) and ended @ middle weight (165 lbs.). My record was 8 wins, 1 draw, 1 KO. It was, to say the least, "educational".

Those who have stepped through the ropes into the fight ring never cease to be amused by armchair pugilists.

Martin wasn't throwing skittles at Zimmerman, he was throwing his ego in the form of a fist.

At 17 I was 5'-11", and weighed 165 lbs. I can guarantee you if I had any of you on the ground beating your head on concrete I could turn your brain into mush in about a minute.

Personally, I don't give a flip about either of these jokers - they deserve each other.

The 99 percent are the 99% for a reason.

Posted: Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Article comment by: How dare You.

How dare you. Trayvon Martin was MURDERED by a wacko carrying a gun. A wacko whom abuses women. A wacko who lies to the court. A lousy excuse of a man and now a murderer allow to walk free and continue his crimes. This was not anything BUT MURDER. and now our governor has once again stuck her foot in mouth. Shame on you hateful bigots. May your god help you.

Posted: Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Article comment by: Slater Slater

Mr Bondage your as right as rain.And just
silly as a clown.IQ240? Common sense 0.
It's as clear as the language you spoketh.

Posted: Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Article comment by: Danny Smith

You really are confused. Trying to compare apples to oranges makes about as much sense as your typical liberal. If possible try to use some logic in future posts please. I know it will be hard for you.

Posted: Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Article comment by: Frank Lee Confused

A man stood his ground in a movie theater. When a guy threw popcorn at him, he killed him...but he did feel threatened by the popcorn.

Posted: Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Article comment by: Lance Smith

Yes was a terrible tragedy that should never have happened. People who are involved should be punished.

Posted: Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Article comment by: Danny Smith

From the Washington Times... President Obama may currently be calling on the states to review their respective “stand your ground” gun laws, but he wasn’t always so opposed to the right-to-carry rule.

In 2004, while a senator in Illinois, he co-sponsored legislation that allowed for the same rights.
The pertinent legislation was SB 2386, amending the criminal code of 1961. It was introduced in the 93rd General Assembly session and passed into law on July 28, 2004.
The text summary read: “Provides that it is an affirmative defense to a violation of a municipal ordinance that prohibits, regulates or restricts the private ownership of firearms if the individual who is charged with the violation used the firearm in an act of self-defense or defense of another. Effective immediately.”

The Illinois General Assembly website indicates then-Sen. Obama signed on as a co-sponsor on March 25, 2004.

Fast-forward to 2013, post-acquittal of Florida resident George Zimmerman, and Mr. Obama is now denouncing the very same laws he once supported.
But then again why should we expect anything different from him.

Posted: Friday, July 19, 2013
Article comment by: Danny Smith

Spot on David. Very well put. The only drawback to your response is that some of the Libs on here have no concept of logic and common sense so it will still go right over their heads.

Posted: Friday, July 19, 2013
Article comment by: Mary Jane

@ David in Cottonwood,

Your analysis is spot-on! Your replies to the race baiting Liberal's emotional drivel was also straight to the point and well written.

Posted: Friday, July 19, 2013
Article comment by: David in Cottonwood

Funny how no one focuses on the fact that the only real evidence of racism here was Trayvon’s racist attitude and comment toward a 'creepy a** cracka'. It’s also fascinating that no one has pointed to the fact that Trayvon’s attack on Zimmerman could also be viewed as an anti LGBT hate crime as evidenced by Rachel Jeantel's testimony on the stand, and even more so by her comments to Piers Morgan, comments where she also inadvertently admits that Trayvon confronted Zimmerman with the INTENT to give him an "a** whoopin".

Two more big questions, if Jeantel was so concerned about Martin's safety, why didn't SHE call 911, and why didn't Trayvon call himself? Both of them had plenty of time to do so.

And here's a few replies to previous comments

@ 'A question for you'

Despite the fact that the jury may have considered it during their deliberations, Stand Your Ground was not used in the Zimmerman defense itself, so you're entire offering makes no sense.

@ 'How about a did not listen to dispatch or use common sense law?'

The dispatcher offered no advice and has publicly testified that it is not their place to do so. Zimmerman was already out of the car and looking for Martin when the dispatcher said "we don't need you to do that". That is neither advice nor a directive.
As for common sense, Zimmerman was the captain of his gated community's neighborhood watch, there is nothing in the world wrong with him trying to make sure he had 'eyes on' a stranger in that community while waiting for police to arrive. The week previous to the shooting, two burglars got away from the community exactly because no one kept an eye on them when they were first reported, it's reasonable to expect that the captain of a neighborhood watch would want to try and keep that from happening again.

@ '@ Danny'

You asked "then you admit that a pursued Trayvon did have the right to self-defense when confronted by a pursuing stranger and could have justifiably killed Zimmerman?"
No one can point to any time when Zimmerman offered any kind of actual physical threat to Martin, so what exactly would Martin be defending himself against that required him to sucker punch Zimmerman and then proceed to bring a MMA style beat down? The best evidence available shows Martin was at least guilty of assault and battery for initiating a violent physical confrontation. He paid for it. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

@ Bill Bassett

Let's expand your hypothetical a bit Bill, let's also suppose your teenage girl goes ahead and heads into the house they were supposedly headed for, a house that was only a house away from the confrontation, locks the door and calls the cops instead of turning around, confronting and then initiating a violent physical attack on a supposed stalker who was actually the local neighborhood watch captain? Would there even be a need to claim anything? Every other issue real or imagined aside, had Martin not jumped Zimmerman, Martin would still be alive, Martin was criminally responsible for his own death, plain and simple.

@ John A. Bond

It must have escaped your attention that Zimmerman is not a 'white male', but rather a person of mixed heritage who identifies as a Latino, a first generation American on his mother's (Peruvian) side. Ethnically speaking Zimmerman is no more a 'white male' than Obama is truly an African American male. Additionally, Zimmerman was a Democrat, and an active Liberal community organizer that spent his weekends tutoring disadvantaged minorities with his school teacher wife. How does that fit with your usual meme John?

YOUR racism is also duly noted and rejected as a pernicious evil, so is your misrepresentation of almost everything you ever bother to post about.

Posted: Friday, July 19, 2013
Article comment by: Brian Carlson

If a person commits a crime, and a witness provides a description of that person, is it profiling to use the race of the person who committed the crime?

Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2013
Article comment by: John A. Bond

National Crime statistics: A murder is deemed Justified 34% of the time when it is a WHITE accused of shooting a BLACK.

A murder is deemed justifiable 3% of the time when it is a BLACK accused of shooting a WHITE.

Racism is endemic to America, our criminal justice is permeated with racism and racism is determinative based on national crime data that substantiates the egregious discrepancy between WHITES and BLACKS who assert self-defense in cases of murder.

Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2013
Article comment by: Imagine what would have happened...

...if Martin had been white, and Zimmerman a Black man. But before you do, look at homicide statistics for Florida.

Blacks successfully use the 'stand your ground' defense more often than whites, and they use it just as successfully in white-by-black killings as whites do in black-by-white killings.

Statistics also show that the most successful use of 'stand your ground' is in black-by-black killings. But this doesn't necessarily imply racism. Black victims were more likely to be carrying a weapon when they were killed, and they also were more likely than whites to be committing a crime

Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2013
Article comment by: Johnny Johnson

I'm about as liberal as they come but I must ask, What is wrong with profiling? If, let's say, statistics show that over 50 percent of property crimes in a certain area are committed by males age 15-25, what is wrong with checking them out a little more closely, asking them questions and such. As the one being questioned, pulled over, or even followed, it is highly annoying and might made one angry. But if you are the one responsible keeping the neighborhood safe, it's a no-brainer. Policy and training should cover these practices so that there is no pattern of harassment or stepping on rights. Further, I say if you are not practicing profiling, you are derelict in your duties. If you are working security at an airport and you chose to give a little old lady the full search over a male from the Middle East, you are a fool, plain and simple. I imagine that the airport security people at the Tel Aviv airport chuckle at the childish whining about profiling in this country.

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