On March 27, 2012 I wrote a Blog “License to Kill Trayvon Martin” (https://wndcpd.wordpress.com/2012/03/27/license-to-kill-trayvon-martin/). I described Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” legislation which was immediately cited as a defense in George Zimmerman’s killing of Trayvon Martin. This legislation had been pushed on the Florida legislature by a shadowy far right group, the American Legislative Exchange council, backed by the right wing billionaire Koch brothers, worked in close coordination with the National Rifle Association in state legislatures around the county. I also described the role played by Florida’s law permitting the carrying of concealed weapons.
I concluded: “Connecting laws on concealed weapons and Stand Your Ground provisions, which require only that the individual taking action believes he is being threatened, creates a perfect storm. Under Stand Your Ground it would not be possible to prove that Trayvon Martin did not threaten George Zimmerman because there were no witnesses and one of the two protagonists is dead. One can make inferences from Zimmerman’s 911 call, when he was told not to follow the “suspicious” person, but enough to convict him? The conclusion is stark. Homicide is no longer prosecutable. States with Stand Your Ground laws have “legally” sanctioned lawlessness.”
My prediction Zimmerman would be acquitted was correct. That is not even cold comfort but only adds to my sick outrage. As The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, said in its statement July 14, 2013: “There can be no doubt after the Not Guilty verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman that murder has now been legalized in half of the 50 states. The traditional presumption in the law—from the advent of the Hebrew Bible through the creation of Roman law, English common law, and American law—has been that if you could spare human life, it was incumbent upon you to do so. With the “Stand Your Ground” law, the National Rifle Association (NRA) and its partners in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) have turned 3,000 years of jurisprudence on its head. Now you can provoke a fight, and if losing that fight, kill the person you attacked”
(http://csgv.org/releases/2013/csgv-statement-on-zimmerman-trial-verdict/)

Forward Progressive made the same point July 14:
“What these laws do is open the door for people to commit murder and place in a jury’s hands “why” they killed — which is a hell of a lot harder to prove than whether or not they actually committed the murder. They justify killing based on self perception of threat and provide enough of a gray area that “without a shadow of a doubt” becomes almost impossible to prove.” http://www.forwardprogressives.com/the-inherent-danger-behind-zimmerman-being-found-not-guilty-of-murdering-trayvon-martin/

There is a more general conclusion to draw from the travesty of justice in Florida. Rule of law is an essential element of democracy. How many individual states have to grind away the core of democracy before America succumbs.