Zimmerman Will Be Convicted and This is Why
You can toddle over to this Ohio legal blog where they have excerpted some Florida case law which is relevant.
Mixon v. StateÂ (1952) (“The law is quite clear that one may not provokeÂ a difficulty and having done so act under the necessity produced by the difficulty, then kill his adversary and justify the homicide under the plea of self defense.”)
Matthews v. StateÂ (1937) (“In murder prosecution, defendant could not invoke defense that deceased wasÂ armed with a pistol and that defendant shot him in self-defense, where evidence showed that defendant was aggressor in bringing on difficulty and was not free from fault.”)
Bowman v. StateÂ (1934) (“Killing is not justifiable or excusable if necessitated by accused’s acting wrongfully or without being reasonably free from fault in provoking difficulty.”)
Gaff v. StateÂ (1931) (“Accused, to successfully excuse homicide on ground of self-defense, must have been free from fault, or receded after having been aggressor.”)
Scholl v. StateÂ (1927) (“One interposing self-defense in prosecution for homicide must not have wrongfully occasioned necessity of killing.”)
Landrum v. StateÂ (Fla. 1920) (“On a trial for murder, it is proper to charge that one cannot acquit himself of liability for the consequences of a personal difficulty on the ground of self-defense, unless he is reasonably free from fault in entering thereupon.”)
Stinson v. StateÂ (1918) (“Defendant cannot avail himself of defense of self-defense when he himself brought on the situation under the compulsion of which he strikes the blow or fires the shot which he claims was justified.”)
Barton v. StateÂ (1916) (“If one wrongfully occasions necessity for self-defense, though he may have reasonable ground to apprehend a felony, or serious personal injury, and there is imminent danger thereof, he cannot justify a killing on the ground of self-defense.”)
Barnhill v. StateÂ (1908) (“One who seeks and brings on an affray cannot plead self-defense.”)
Kennard v. StateÂ (1900) (“The aggressor in a difficulty, one not reasonably free from fault, cannot justify homicide committed in such difficulty on the ground of self-defense.”)
Lovett v. StateÂ (1892) (“On a trial for murder, it is proper to charge that one cannot acquit himself of liability for the consequences of a personal difficulty on the ground of self-defense, unless he is reasonably free from fault in entering thereupon.”)
What would you do if you were walking home from the 7-11 and some guy came running through the night accosting you? I think in Florida it would be reasonable to suspect that you were in imminent danger and, so they say, one has no duty to retreat down there.
I think Zimmerman will get convicted on the caselaw and the 911 tapes alone. We know that he followed, at night, and confronted Martin. Self-defense is out the window. He had no basis for a reasonable belief that Martin was doing something suspicious, but even if he did, following Martin when Martin is fleeing will prevent a not guilty verdict.