I just can’t help myself on this case. But these facts worry me as an expert in self-defense and one who testifies about this all the time. Facts assumed to be true:
1. Zimmerman sees and follows Martin
2. Martin knows this and is spooked/afraid that he is being followed
3. Zimmerman gets out of car and Here’s where it gets disputed: Did Martin ambush Zimmerman because he was scared that he was being followed or did Zimmerman confront Martin?
a. There is evidence (Janteal’s testimony about what she heard on the phone) to show that Zimmerman stopped Martin and asked what he was doing there.
b. Zimmerman says he was ambushed when he got out of the truck.
4. Most analyses I’ve seen have said that Zimmerman was allowed to defend himself with lethal force if he was in reasonable fear of his life. But was he?
5. As best I understand things, the law requires that someone who aggressively pursues a confrontation and then is overmatched must clearly indicate that they intend to break off the fight and withdraw. Only then can they defend themselves with lethal force.
6. Did Zimmerman attempt to submit, break off hostilities, cry “uncle” or something? There is no evidence of that. But there is evidence that he continued to struggle, cried out for help and reached for his weapon.
7. Here’s the KEY part: Zimmerman never quit, never backed off, never indicated he wished to retreat. Instead, he kept on struggling and reached for his weapon.
If Zimmerman is acquitted, any martial artist who is provoked into a fight and defends himself had better win quickly thoroughly and incapacitate the other side. Because this case could give the guy who thinks he’s losing the right to pull his weapon and kill you without any consequences.