George Zimmerman Appeals Dismissal of Defamation Suit Against NBC

Hey folks,

As anticipated by, well, everybody, George Zimmerman’s civil lawyer, James Beasley Jr., has filed an appeal with Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeals (5th DCA) of the dismissal by June Debra Nelson of Zimmerman’s defamation suit against NBC broadcasting. This is per reports by Orlando’s WKMG and the Orlando Sentinel.

We previously covered Judge Nelson’s dismissal of the suit here at Legal Insurrection, Zimmerman Libel Suit Against NBC Thrown Out, including the full text of her order.

For the whole story, head over to my full-length post at Legal Insurrection:

George Zimmerman Appeals Dismissal of Defamation Suit Against NBC

The Zimmerman Files: Aggregated day-by-day live coverage & analysis

Hey folks,

A year after the trial in which George Zimmerman was unanimously acquitted by a jury in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, misinformation continues to abound. Whether the misinformation is being spread inadvertently or — as is too often the case — as a result of intentional disinformation campaigns, the only antidote is the truth.

Many of you will recall that I was graciously invited by the well-respected legal blog Legal Insurrection (LI) to live-cover the Zimmerman trial. Over the course of the next several weeks I literally watched every available minute of the trial, providing blogging and legal analysis every day, and often several times a day. I also did the occasional post on the trial right here at Law of Self Defense (LOSD).

The result was over 75 posts and more than 120,000 words (no, that’s not a typo) of detailed coverage of the case, beginning from the pre-trial Frye hearings and continuing up to and past the verdict.

It was a blast!

Within that huge body of work lies the facts in evidence of the case, as contained within the discovery file shared by the prosecution and the defense and as developed over the course of direct and cross-examination of witnesses during the pre-trial hearings and throughout the trial proper.

In other words, the truth as it can best be known to us, and the best antidote to misinformation and disinformation.

Accessibility, however has been a continuing issue. With more than 75 posts spread over a two month period and two different blogs, finding the particular post most relevant to an issue has continued to be a bit of a pain. To facilitate such efforts, I’ve now pulled together a comprehensive Table of Contents for these posts in aggregate.

Enjoy!

TABLE OF CONTENTS

May 14, 2013 LOSD: Can the Prosecution Keep Trayvon’s History of Violence and Drug Use from the Jury? Yes . . . and no.

June 5, 2013 LI: Getting to Murder 2: Finding George Zimmerman’s “Depraved Mind”

June 6, 2013 LI: Out of the Frye-ing pan, into the spectrograph

June 7, 2013 LI: Dr. Hirotaka Nakasone, FBI, and the low-quality 3-second audio file

June 8, 2003 LI: Prosecution’s Voice Expert admits: “This is not really good evidence”

June 9, 2013 LI: Experts Call State’s Scream Claims “Absurd” “Ridiculous” and “Imaginary Stuff”

June 9, 2013 LI: The Five Principles of the Law of Self Defense

June 10, 2013 LI: Jury Selection June 10th

June 10, 2013 LI: Jury Selection — Day One Wrap-Up

June 11, 2013 LI: Jury Selection — Day Two Wrap-Up

June 12, 2013 LI: Jury Selection — Day Three Wrap-Up

June 12, 2013 LI: Prospective Juror E7: “no conclusions,” but posted on pro-Trayvon, anti-Zimmerman site containing threat against Zimmerman

June 13, 2013 LI: Jury Selection — Day Four Wrap-Up

June 14, 2013 LOSD: EVIDENTIARY FLASHBACK: Zimmerman Recalls Fatal Fight to Police

June 14, 2013 LI: Dismissed juror escorted from courthouse after trespassing

June 14, 2013 LI: Jury Selection — Day Five Wrap-Up

June 15, 2013 LOSD: Evidentiary Flashback: Zimmerman’s 1st Written Statement to Police the Night of the Shooting

June 16, 2013 LOSD: Myth Busters: Did Zimmerman disobey police orders to stay in car?

June 16, 2013 LI: Jury Selection, Week One Recap

June 16, 2013 LOSD: Evidentiary Flashback: Affidavit for Probable Cause–Count the untruths

June 17, 2013 LOSD: Myth Busters: Did Zimmerman really “racially profile” Martin?

June 17, 2013 LI: Frye Hearing Continues with Prof. James L. Wayman

June 17, 2013 LI: Jury Selection — Day Six Wrap-Up

June 18, 2013 LOSD: Myth Busters: Did Zimmerman “Chase Down” a Fleeing Martin?

June 18, 2013 LI: Jury Selection — Day Seven Wrap-Up

June 19, 2013 LOSD: Never seen a juror questionnaire before? Here you go . . .

June 19, 2013 LOSD: FDLE Forensic Report: Zimmerman’s Gun & Fatal Bullet

June 19, 2013 LI: Jury Selection Profiles – “Top 40″ Advanced to Next Round

June 19, 2013 LI: Jury Selection — Day Eight Wrap-Up

June 20, 2013 LI: Final Jury Wrap-Up: Insights on Trial Strategy

June 21, 2013 LI: Final pre-trial motions and proceedings

June 21, 2013 LI: Pre-Game Day Analysis

June 22, 2013 LI: State Experts’ Audio Findings Not Admissible

June 23, 2013 LI: Meet the Jurors

June 24, 2013 LI: Day 1 – Opening Statements

June 24, 2013 LI: Day One – Analysis of Opening Statements

June 24, 2013 LI: Day One – Analysis of State’s First Four Witnesses

June 25, 2013 LI: Day 2 – Analysis of State’s Witnesses

June 26, 2013 LI: Witnesses: Trayvon on ground when shot, Zimmerman on top in fight

June 26, 2013 LI: Day 3 – End-of-Day Analysis & Video of State’s Witnesses

June 27, 2013 LI: Mid-Day 4 — West’s Cross-Examination of Rachel Jeantel

June 27, 2013 LI: End-of-Day Analysis & Video of State’s Witnesses

June 28, 2013 LI: BLOCKBUSTER — TRANSCRIPT — Eyewitness Good: Black guy in black hoodie on top punching down Mixed Martial Arts style

June 28, 2013 LI: Has State Opened Door to Defense Introducing Martin Fight Video?

June 28, 2013 LI: Day 5 – Analysis & Video – State’s own witnesses undercut theory of guilt

June 29, 2013 LOSD: If State can’t get murder 2, can they get manslaughter? Yes . . . and no

June 30, 2013 LOSD: Evidentiary Flashback: AUTOPSY REPORT: Clinical cause of death of Trayvon Martin

June 30, 3013 LOSD: Why Can Martin’s Parents Stay in Courtroom, But Zimmerman’s Family Can’t? FL Law Explained

June 30, 2013 LI: How Much Injury Is Required Before Self-Defense is Justified?

July 1, 2013 LOSD: Evidentiary Flashback: Investigator Serino Tells FBI He Was Pressured to Bring Charges

July 1, 2013 LI: Mid-Day 6 — Zimmerman recounts fight for his life (recording)

July 1, 2013 LI: Day 6 – Analysis & Video – State’s witness Chris Serino seriously undermines charge

July 2, 2013 LOSD: Investigator Chris Serino Demoted to Patrolman by Superiors

July 2, 2013 LI: Mid-Day 7 — Serino more ambivalent, Osterman supports self-defense

July 2, 2013 LI: Day 7 Wrap Up: Prosecution recovers a little, prepared to introduce college records

July 3, 2013 LI: BLOCKBUSTER: State witness says Zimmerman wanted to be Prosecutor!

July 3, 2013 LI: Mid-Day 8 — State Wins Evidentiary Battle, Loses Testimony War

July 3, 2013 LI: Day 8: Live Video, Analysis & Reader Poll: DNA Inconclusive & Judge Nelson Terse

July 4, 2013 LI: How We Got Here, And Where We’re Going

July 5, 2013 LI: Trayvon Martin’s Brother: Originally not sure if it was Trayvon screaming on 911 call

July 5, 2013 LI: Day 9 — Families Feud Over Scream Identification

July 7, 2013 LI: Why Zimmerman’s Motion for Acquittal Should Have Been Granted

July 8, 2013 LI: Day 10 — Mid-day — Vietnam Combat Medic Identifies Zimmerman as Screamer

July 8, 2013 LI: Implosion: Police Testify Trayvon’s Father Originally Denied Son Was Screaming

July 9, 2013 LOSD: What is the “Daubert standard” for admissibility of scientific evidence?

July 9, 2013 LI: Noted Forensic Pathologist Says Zimmerman Story “Consistent” with Evidence, As Defense Case Nears End

July 10, 2013 LI: Breaking – Jury will not get to see Trayvon fighting texts

July 10, 2013 LI: Defense Rests, Closing Statements Start Tomorrow

July 11, 2013 LI: The Jury Instructions

July 11, 2013 LI: State’s Closing Argument: Two Hours of Raising Doubt

July 12, 2013 LI: Defense Gives Evidence-Rich Closing, State Appeals to “Heart”

July 12, 2013 LI: Closing Analysis – O’Mara: No Evidence of Guilt; Guy: Martin Deserves the Truth

July 13, 2013 LI: Jury Asks for Clarification on Manslaughter

July 13, 2013 LI: Verdict Reached: NOT GUILTY

July 14, 2013 LOSD: Angela Corey’s “Downfall”– LMAO Funny!

July 16, 2013 LI: Post-Zimmerman Acquittal: Civil Rights, Immunity, and Perjury

July 16, 2013 LI: Attorney Andrew Branca Participates on NPR Zimmerman Panel

July 25, 2013 LI: When Is Evidence of Your Attacker’s Character Admissible In Court?

July 26, 2013 LI: Why Judge Nelson Was Wrong to Exclude Martin’s Cell Phone Evidence

August 11, 2013 LI: True Story: GA Sex Offender Seeks Re-Trial of Zimmerman

August 19, 2013 LI: Deceptive Trayvon Martin Shooting Reenactment Video Released

 

–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


Andrew F. Branca is a Massachusetts lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog (autographed copies available) and Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), the NRA Store, Gun Digest, and many other re-sellers.

Andrew also gives live, in-person, ~5 hour-long state-specific Law of Self Defense Seminars all over the country, with upcoming seminars covering the self-defense laws of California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. (If you don’t see a seminar scheduled for your state, contact us at: seminar “at” lawofselfdefense “dot” com.)

Andrew also produces many 4-5 hour online, on-demand state-specific Law of Self Defense training courses.These online classes are enriched versions of the live, in-person state-specific Law of Self Defense Seminars Andrew gives all around the country. Right now Colorado,Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia are online and immediately available, followed by many additional states.  These online classes are priced at $99/HOUSEHOLD. You can learn more details and view the first section of the training class for free (about 30 minutes worth of self-defense law training) by clicking here.

Andrew also produces free online self-defense law video lectures and podcasts through the Law of Self Defense Institute. You can be automatically informed of new video lectures by subscribing the Law of Self Defense Youtube channel. You can be automatically informed of new podcasts by subscribing through iTunes, Stitcher, RSS feed, or you can simply direct download podcasts to your preferred device.

Zimmerman Libel Suit Against NBC Thrown Out

Hey folks,

How can we miss her, when she won’t go away?

Judge Debra Nelson, who presided over the murder trial of George Zimmerman, today issued a ruling dismissing his libel suit against NBC (a copy of that ruling can be found at the bottom of this post).

Those of us who followed the Zimmerman murder trial closely will recall Judge Nelson as ruling so consistently in favor of the Prosecution, fairly bending over backwards in her deference to prosecution arguments.

In contrast, her rulings in favor of the defense were few and far between. It was surely a similar perception by the defense that inhibited them from ever seeking self-defense immunity for Zimmerman, as provided for under Florida statute 776.032 “Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force.”

That the same judge who so consistently ruled against Zimmerman at his murder trial would be the one chosen to also preside over his libel suit against NBC is eye brow raising, to say the least.

To read my full post on this travesty of justice, as well as the full-length opinion, click over to Legal Insurrection:

Zimmerman Libel Suit Against NBC Thrown Out

–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog and Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle). He holds many state-specific Law of Self Defense Seminars around the country, and produces a series of Law of Self Defense Videocasts and Podcasts available on iTunes, Stitcher, and RSS).

(Not George) Zimmerman vs. Roseanne Barr

Hey folks,

Robert Zimmerman Sr. and Gladys Zimmerman have filed suit against comedienne Roseanne Barr, nearly two years after Barr published their home address on Twitter in the aftermath of their son George Zimmerman Jr.’s killing of Trayvon Martin in self-defense.

(Zimmerman successfully argued at trial that he shot Martin in necessary self-defense,  and he was acquitted by a unanimous jury.)

The Orlando Sentinel reports that the suit, filed in a Florida circuit court, accuses Barr of attempting to incite “a lynch mob to descend” on their home and carry out “vigilante justice.”

Zimmerman’s parents say that Barr’s tweet of their home address compelled them to flee their home in the middle of the night, and they remain unable to return and in hiding for fear of violence.

They also point out that their son George did not live with them, and they had nothing whatever to do with his shooting of Trayvon Martin in self-defense.

To read the whole story, head over to Legal Insurrection:

(Not George) Zimmerman vs. Roseanne Barr

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere. In addition to the book, Andrew also conducts Law of Self Defense Seminars all around the country. Seminars for 2014 are currently being scheduled, if you’d like to see one held in your area fill out the comment box on the LOSD Seminar review page, where you can also see reviews of recently completed seminars in New Hampshire, Maine, Texas, Massachusetts, Ohio, Virginia, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, and elsewhere. Andrew is also a contributing author on self defense law topics to Combat Handguns, Ammoland.com, Legal Insurrection, and others. You can follow Andrew on Twitter at @LawSelfDefense and using #LOSD2, on Facebook, and at his blog, The Law of Self Defense.

Florida Bar clears Mark O’Mara of suborning Shellie Zimmerman perjury

Hey folks,

In the aftermath of Shellie Zimmerman’s perjury charges, the Florida Bar opened an investigation into whether George Zimmerman’s lawyer Mark O’Mara may have solicited her false testimony.

Yesterday, the Florida Bar concluded that there was no credible evidence that O’Mara engaged in any such misconduct.

For my full post on this, including video of O’Mara discussing the matter in an interview, check out Legal Insurrection:

Florida Bar clears Mark O’Mara of suborning Shellie Zimmerman perjury

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere.

In addition to the book, Andrew also conducts Law of Self Defense Seminars all around the country. Seminars for 2014 are currently being scheduled, if you’d like to see one held in your area fill out the comment box on the LOSD Seminar review page, where you can also see reviews of recently completed seminars in New Hampshire, Maine, Texas, Massachusetts, Ohio, Virginia, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, and elsewhere.

Andrew is also a contributing author on self defense law topics to Combat Handguns, Ammoland.com, Legal Insurrection, and others.

You can follow Andrew on Twitter at @LawSelfDefense and using #LOSD2, on Facebook, and at his blog, The Law of Self Defense.

Zimmerman Attorney Mark O’Mara Named “National Criminal Trial Lawyer of 2013″

Hey folks,

Just a short note to share the news that he National Trial Lawyers professional association have named O’Mara the National Criminal Trial Lawyer of the Year for 2013, as reported by the Orlando Sentinel.

Over at Legal Insurrection I’ve got a slightly longer post on this news, as well as a recent interview with O’Mara in which he talks about how his legal practice has changed after the Zimmerman trial, the sometimes wildly unreasonable expectations of prospective clients, some behind-the-scenes stuff around keeping his practice alive during the course of the trial, and his expectations for ever getting George Zimmerman to fully pay his legal bill. You can check it out here:

Zimmerman Attorney Mark O’Mara Named “National Criminal Trial Lawyer of 2013″

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere.

In addition to the book, Andrew also conducts Law of Self Defense Seminars all around the country. Seminars for 2014 are currently being scheduled, if you’d like to see one held in your area fill out the comment box on the LOSD Seminar review page, where you can also see reviews of recently completed seminars in New Hampshire, Maine, Texas, Massachusetts, Ohio, Virginia, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, and elsewhere.

Andrew is also a contributing author on self defense law topics to Combat Handguns, Ammoland.com, Legal Insurrection, and others.

You can follow Andrew on Twitter at @LawSelfDefense and using #LOSD2, on Facebook, and at his blog, The Law of Self Defense.

Florida Bills Seek to Restrict Self-Defense Immunity, Protect "Warning Shots," and Limit Mandatory Sentences

Hey folks,

Today the Florida House will be voting on HB-4003, which seeks to repeal statute 776.013, “Home protection; use of deadly force; presumption of fear of death or great bodily harm.” This would get rid of “Stand-Your-Ground, as well as certain presumptions of reasonable fear of imminent death or grave bodily harm for the defender in home invasion, carjacking, and kidnapping scenarios.  I wrote extensively on this bill (and it’s essentially identical Florida Senate counter part, SB-116), in my post yesterday:  FL Lawmakers Seek to Repeal Stand-Your-Ground AND Ease Home Invasions, Kidnappings & Carjackings.  You can read the actual language of the HB-4003 there, if you like.

There are also two additional bills being advanced through the Florida legislature that would impact self-defense, one for the worse, one (arguably) for the better.

The “bad” bill is Senate bill SB-130, entitled “Use of deadly force.”  SB-130 proposes essentially two changes to Florida law.

First, it seeks to modify the existing Florida statutes that govern Neighborhood Watch programs, making essentially identical changes to 30.60 Establishment of neighborhood crime watch programs and to 166.0485 Establishment of neighborhood crime watch programs.  That change would be to require the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to establish a Neighborhood Watch curriculum that would include, among other things, instruction on “conduct that may unreasonably create or escalate a confrontation between a neighborhood watch participant and a person suspected of unlawful activity.”  Presumably the curriculum would be written in such a way as to make Zimmerman’s exit of his vehicle to observe Martin’s path of departure a breach of that instruction–even though Zimmerman did this only in direct response to an explicit request for exactly that information from the police dispatcher.  (See “Myth Busters: Did Zimmerman “chase” Martin against police orders?” for evidence-based proof of this.)  In this way, should the same scenario occur again the prosecution could argue that getting out of the car was a direct violation of the Neighborhood Watch training, and therefore unreasonable on its face.  Because any claim of self-defense must ultimately be based on the conduct of a reasonable and prudent person, such a change in the law could create considerable legal jeopardy for any Neighborhood Watch person who did anything other than freeze in place.

Second, SB-130 seeks to water down the state’s self-defense immunity statute, 776.032 “Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force.”  Before 776.032, if a defender shot his attacker he was subject to lawsuit by either the attacker or the attacker’s surviving family, or for that matter anybody else who may have been injured or damaged somehow as a result of the use of that defensive force (to include, say, an innocent bystander who was struck, or an observer who claims to have suffered emotional harm).  776.032 provides blanket immunity against any civil action based upon a use of force in lawful self-defense.  What the plaintiff’s bar would really love, of course, is a return to the good old days where one was at risk of being sued by the person who attacked you.  Correctly believing that would never fly, they are trying to go half-way there.  Under SB-130 the attacker himself, and his immediate family, would still not be able to sue.  But anyone other than the attacker or his immediate family would fall outside the immunity protection.  In the Zimmerman case, for example, perhaps Rachel Jeantel could have sued Zimmerman for the emotional distress she incurred from being on the phone with Trayvon Martin in the moments prior to his death.  Sounds great!

The arguably “good bill” is HB-89. It’s relevant portions for our purposes are two-fold.

First, HB-89 seeks to extend immunity from civil and criminal prosecution to cover the defensive display or use of a firearm, to include “Defensively displaying a weapon or firearm, if the
person reasonably believes that it is necessary to warn an attacker to prevent or terminate an imminent or actual violent criminal attack, including by the firing of a warning shot.” (emphasis added). Obviously, not properly trained gun owner would fire a “warning shot” except in the most unusual of circumstances. Having said that, not everyone in lawful possession of a firearm is lawfully trained, and many have been “taught” via the popular culture of movies and television that “warning shots” are an acceptable use of a firearm. This portion of HB-89 would extend immunity to such acts.

Second, HB-89 seeks to exclude from 775.087 “Possession or use of weapon; aggravated battery; felony reclassification; minimum sentence”, Florida’s “10-20-Life” mandatory sentencing framework acts of violence that may arguably have been defensive in nature. It is under this framework that Marissa Alexander received a mandatory 20-year sentence for firing what she claims was a warning (but which was not–see The Myth of Marissa Alexander’s “Warning Shot”). Essentially, the “10-20-Life” statute requires a mandatory minimum 10 year sentence if a firearm is displayed in the course of a crime, a mandatory minimum 20-year sentence if that gun is discharged, and a mandatory minimum 25-years to life if a person is killed or injured by the shot. As a result, if a person fires a warning shot in what they believe is lawful self-defense, but a jury concludes doing so was unreasonable, in addition to a brandishing or aggravated assault sentence of perhaps 10 years they’d also be looking at a mandatory minimum of 20 years under the “10-20-Life” statute. HB-89 seeks to prevent this outcome in such situations by requiring that the sentencing court

shall depart downward from the mandatory minimum sentence prescribed in s. 775.087(2), provided that the sentencing or trial court finds the following by a preponderance of the evidence:
(a) The defendant did not act in the furtherance of another criminal act;
(b) The defendant had established a prima facie case at trial, during any proceeding, by stipulation, or at any stage of the investigation that the act alleged was committed with defensive intent; and

So, that’s the gist of SB-130 and HB-89. Hopefully, I’ve managed to dispel any lack of clarity about those proposed laws.


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere.

In addition to the book, Andrew also conducts Law of Self Defense Seminars all around the country, with upcoming seminars scheduled for Atlanta GA (11/16), and Epping NH (11/24, at the SigSauer Academy, where Andrew is a Guest Instructor). Click here for reviews of recently completed seminars in Ohio, Virginia, Florida, South Carolina, and elsewhere.

You can follow Andrew on Twitter at @LawSelfDefense and using #LOSD2, on Facebook, and at his blog, The Law of Self Defense.

Sanford Police Chief Walks Back “No Guns on Neighborhood Watch” Policy

Hey folks,

The Sanford Police Department is busy walking back their widely reported policy change that would have banned Neighborhood Watch volunteers from lawfully carrying concealed.

In fact, Police Chief Cecil Smith now says that while they discourage Neighborhood Watch volunteers from being armed, they are not prohibited from lawfully doing so.

Volunteers for a “higher level” form of Neighborhood Watch, called “Citizens on Patrol,” would, however, be prohibited from being armed, but this appears to be a long-standing policy.

For a more comprehensive write up check out my blog post over at Legal Insurrection:

Sanford Police Chief Walks Back “No Guns on Neighborhood Watch” Policy

-–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense, Law of Self Defense Facebook


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere.

In addition to the book, Andrew also conducts Law of Self Defense Seminars all around the country, with upcoming seminars scheduled for Atlanta GA (11/16), and Epping NH (11/24, at the SigSauer Academy, where Andrew is a Guest Instructor). Click here for reviews of recently completed seminars in Ohio, Virginia, Florida, South Carolina, and elsewhere.

You can follow Andrew on Twitter at @LawSelfDefense and using #LOSD2, on Facebook, and at his blog, The Law of Self Defense.

FL Lawmakers Seek to Repeal Stand-Your-Ground AND Ease Home Invasions, Kidnappings & Carjackings

Hey folks,

We’ve all heard recent rumblings about some legislators in Florida seeking to make political hay by “changing” or “improving” the state’s Stand-Your-Ground law.

We can now observe the text of their proposed bills for this purpose, and see that what they are actually doing is revoking Stand-Your-Ground completely–and not JUST Stand-Your-Ground, but the entire Florida statute 776.013, “Home protection; use of deadly force; presumption of fear of death or great bodily harm.” in its entirety.

In fact, the Stand-Your-Ground provision is only one section–section (3)–of 776.013.  In addition, 776.013 also provides legal protections for a defenders in a “home invasion,” “car-jacking,” and “kidnapping” scenarios.

Specifically, section (1) of 776.013 provides a legal presumption that a defender was in reasonable fear of imminent death or great bodily harm when they are using deadly defensive force against a person who is unlawfully and forcibly entering their dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, or against someone who is forcibly removing (e.g. kidnapping) from the dwelling, residence of occupied vehicle.

In addition, section (4) of 776.013 provides for a legal presumption that a person who unlawfully and forcibly enters a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle intends to commit an unlawful act involving force or violence.

It is also those “home invasion” protections–NOT just 776.013’s Stand-Your-Ground provision–that goes away should the proposed “anti-Stand-Your-Ground” bills become law.

It is noteworthy, I think, that NO PART of 776.013–not Stand-Your-Ground, and not the legal presumptions of reasonable fear or violent intent–played ANY ROLE WHATEVER in the George Zimmerman trial.

In the Florida State Senate, Senator Geraldine F. “Geri” Thompson (D) is advancing Senate Bill 116 (SB-116). This bill has already been heard by a select (e.g., “political theater”) committee of the Florida senate, and has now been referred to the state senate committees on the judiciary, criminal justice, and rules.

An essentially identical bill, HB-4003, is being advanced in the Florida State House of Representatives by FL Representative Alan B. Williams (D):

The draft bill is to be heard by the Florida House Subcommittee on Criminal Justice this Thursday afternoon.

I’ll keep following these and providing updates as circumstances warrant.

-–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere.

In addition to the book, Andrew also conducts Law of Self Defense Seminars all around the country, with upcoming seminars scheduled for Atlanta GA (11/16), and Epping NH (11/24, at the SigSauer Academy, where Andrew is a Guest Instructor). Click here for reviews of recently completed seminars in Ohio, Virginia, Florida, South Carolina, and elsewhere.

You can follow Andrew on Twitter at @LawSelfDefense and using #LOSD2, on Facebook, and at his blog, The Law of Self Defense.

VIDEO: US Senate Stand-Your Ground Hearings, Senator Cruz, Follow-Up (10/29/13)

Hey folks,

More Ted Cruz goodness–these are follow-up comments, after the various witnesses brought to testify in the hearing had completed their prepared remarks:

In particular he notes that then-Senator Obama voted for self-defense immunity laws in Illinois before he was elected to higher office. Cruz also jabs at Sen. Durbin’s efforts to target ALEC and chill free speech. Durbin’s hissy-fit in response can be seen at about the 8:20 mark, telling the audience “don’t take my word for it, take the word of the NAACP.” Haha. “Racism!!11!”, the ultimate refuge of the coward. 🙂

Also, don’t forget that I did an overview of the entire hearing at Legal Insurrection: “Stand Your Ground” opponents mangle law and Trayvon facts at Senate Hearing

-–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense, Facebook: LOSD


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere.

In addition to the book, Andrew also conducts Law of Self Defense Seminars all around the country, with upcoming seminars scheduled for Atlanta GA (11/16), and Epping NH (11/24, at the SigSauer Academy, where Andrew is a Guest Instructor). Click here for reviews of recently completed seminars in Ohio, Virginia, Florida, South Carolina, and elsewhere.

You can follow Andrew on Twitter at @LawSelfDefense and using #LOSD2, on Facebook, and at his blog, The Law of Self Defense.