The Trayvon Martin shooting has brought Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, a controversial self-defense statute, to the forefront.
While George Zimmerman’s defense ultimately decided against seeking immunity under that law he was still acquitted for “self-defense”.
According to HLN:
Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law allows the use of deadly force as long as you:
Are not engaged in an unlawful activity.
Are being attacked in a place you have a right to be.
Reasonably believe that your life and safety is in danger as a result of an overt act or perceived threat committed by someone else toward you.
Stevie Wonder recently threatened to boycott by no longer performing in states with “Stand Your Ground laws”. Unfortunately, Maryland is a considered a “Stand Your Ground” state. It has adopted a self-defense law called the “castle doctrine” that allows, “a man faced with the danger of an attack upon his dwelling need not retreat from his home to escape the danger, but instead may stand his ground and, if necessary to repel the attack, may kill the attacker.”
In layman’s speak, the law protects those who use lethal force whilst protecting themselves and their family inside their homes and/or place of business. The doctrine only applies to defending persons “not convicted of a crime related to the act for which the immunity is being sought”.