I feel that task is too much to ask of a panel of jurors, however representative of a community they might be. It requires them to not only evaluate the evidence brought out in the trial, but to get into the head of the defendant and determine the way he perceives and responds to situations and measure that against a standard with which they are not provided, but are asked to develop in their deliberations. This cannot be done objectively. Therefore, I feel that Florida's “stand your ground” law must be repealed or significantly revised. Interpreting its meaning is too great a task to assign to jurors.
Killing someone “in self-defense” should be argument enough without the added reinforcement of a law which encourages unnecessary aggressive behavior on the part of legally armed Floridians. If you live in Florida, ask your State legislators to work to repeal “stand your ground.”
Florida Statutes CHAPTER 776 JUSTIFIABLE USE OF FORCE
776.012 Use of force in defense of person.—A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if:
- (1) He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony; or
- (2) Under those circumstances permitted pursuant to s. 776.013.
(1) A person is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another when using defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another if:
- (a) The person against whom the defensive force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, or if that person had removed or was attempting to remove another against that person’s will from the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle; and
- (b) The person who uses defensive force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred.
- (a) The person against whom the defensive force is used has the right to be in or is a lawful resident of the dwelling, residence, or vehicle, such as an owner, lessee, or titleholder, and there is not an injunction for protection from domestic violence or a written pretrial supervision order of no contact against that person; or
- (b) The person or persons sought to be removed is a child or grandchild, or is otherwise in the lawful custody or under the lawful guardianship of, the person against whom the defensive force is used; or
- (c) The person who uses defensive force is engaged in an unlawful activity or is using the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle to further an unlawful activity; or
- (d) The person against whom the defensive force is used is a law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(14), who enters or attempts to enter a dwelling, residence, or vehicle in the performance of his or her official duties and the officer identified himself or herself in accordance with any applicable law or the person using force knew or reasonably should have known that the person entering or attempting to enter was a law enforcement officer.
(4) A person who unlawfully and by force enters or attempts to enter a person’s dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle is presumed to be doing so with the intent to commit an unlawful act involving force or violence.
(5) As used in this section, the term:
- (a) “Dwelling” means a building or conveyance of any kind, including any attached porch, whether the building or conveyance is temporary or permanent, mobile or immobile, which has a roof over it, including a tent, and is designed to be occupied by people lodging therein at night.
- (b) “Residence” means a dwelling in which a person resides either temporarily or permanently or is visiting as an invited guest.
- (c) “Vehicle” means a conveyance of any kind, whether or not motorized, which is designed to transport people or property.
(1) A person who uses force as permitted in s. 776.012, s. 776.013, or s. 776.031 is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force, unless the person against whom force was used is a law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(14), who was acting in the performance of his or her official duties and the officer identified himself or herself in accordance with any applicable law or the person using force knew or reasonably should have known that the person was a law enforcement officer. As used in this subsection, the term “criminal prosecution” includes arresting, detaining in custody, and charging or prosecuting the defendant.
(2) A law enforcement agency may use standard procedures for investigating the use of force as described in subsection (1), but the agency may not arrest the person for using force unless it determines that there is probable cause that the force that was used was unlawful.
(3) The court shall award reasonable attorney’s fees, court costs, compensation for loss of income, and all expenses incurred by the defendant in defense of any civil action brought by a plaintiff if the court finds that the defendant is immune from prosecution as provided in subsection (1).
776.041 Use of force by aggressor. —The justification described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not available to a person who:
(1) Is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of, a forcible felony; or
(2) Initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself, unless:
- (a) Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or
- (b) In good faith, the person withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force.
But I called the number anyway, figuring I might be able to identify and report the thieves to whomever such skullduggery is reported. A mechanical voice asked me to repeat my debit card’s sixteen digit number, omitting spaces or dashes, so it could be “unlocked” and advised that there would be no human being available to speak to me. So, of course, I hung up.
It is very sad that there are people in our country who feel that any involvement of government in the payment of medical bills, including the ACA, any future "single payor" plan or even the existing Medicare program, is a heinous intrusion into the rights of individual Americans.