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Lawyer:’Stand your ground’ rule doesn’t apply


CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

Lawyer:’Stand your ground’ rule doesn’t apply

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Sanford, Florida (CNN) — A lawyer for the man at the center of the Trayvon Martin death investigation said Florida’s “stand your ground” law doesn’t apply to the shooting that killed the unarmed teen.
“In my legal opinion, that’s not really applicable to this case. The statute on ‘stand your ground’ is primarily when you’re in your house,” said Craig Sonner, attorney for George Zimmerman.
“This is self-defense, and that’s been around for forever — that you have a right to defend yourself. So the next issue (that) is going to come up is, was he justified in using the amount of force he did?”
Trayvon Martin, 17, was killed February 26 as he walked to his father’s fiancee’s house in Sanford, Florida, after a trip to the convenience store. Police say he was shot by Zimmerman, a neighbourhood watch volunteer who says he was acting in self-defense.
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Martin was unarmed, carrying a bag of Skittles candy and an iced tea, according to police.
The 2005 law allows people to use deadly force anywhere they have a right to be if they have reasonable fear an assailant could seriously harm them or someone else.
It also eliminated a long-standing “duty to retreat” in the face of imminent harm, asserting that would-be crime victims have the right to “stand their ground” and “meet force with force” when attacked.
The case has sparked a national debate over the Florida law and concerns about racial profiling.
Martin was black and Zimmerman is white Hispanic.

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