Self-Defense Law |
A WSJ Article by Joe Palazzolo and Rob Barry |
LAW-13 Paper #2 |
Self-defense laws, also known as “stand your ground laws”, have been a significant aspect of many court cases. However, like most other laws, these laws can be used improperly and cause excess controversy around a case. Joe Palazzolo and Rob Barry’s article titled “More Killings Called Self-Defense” from the March 31st edition of Wall Street Journal brings attention to these self-defense laws. The case discussed in the article is an example of self-defense laws causing controversy, as many protestors believe these laws were used improperly. This is also a common issue as the number of justifiable homicides seems to be on the rise. Are these “stand your ground laws” truly being abused? This is the main issue causing the debate surrounding cases around the country.
The article describes a case of homicide in which 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by supposed neighborhood watchman, George Zimmerman. This case has become very controversial for several reasons. Much debate has been sparked as to whether this homicide was actually an intentional hate crime, as Martin was a black teenager, who supposedly posed no real threat to the killer. Despite lack of evidence against Martin, Zimmerman still claims that his act was out of self-defense and he has not been charged or arrested. Zimmerman claims he was walking to his car and Martin approached him and punched him in the face, breaking his nose. Recent evidence shows that there was virtually no damage inflicted on Zimmerman’s face or nose. Zimmerman also claims that Martin had bashed his head into the ground, leaving him with serious head injuries. New video evidence goes against his claim, revealing no head injuries (Zerlina, 2012). His lawyer has yet to make any further comments. Although it cannot be assumed that race was a main factor in this case, it is...