Criminal Justice

Zimmerman Lawyer Says Team to Back Off 'Stand Your Ground' Defense

An attorney for George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed Florida teen Trayvon Martin in February, has indicated the defense team is looking to pursue a more traditional self-defense claim.

‘”The facts don’t seem to support a ‘stand your ground’ defense,” Zimmerman’s lawyer Mark O’Mara is quoted saying in a story by the Associated Press.

The AP notes that last week, Zimmerman’s lawyers had said they would use the “stand your ground” law, which permits the use of deadly force if individuals believe their lives are in danger.

University of Miami law professor Tamara Lave tells the AP that O’Mara’s shift may indicate he is confident that a case for self-defense is solid enough, without special provisions in “stand your ground.”

“‘Stand your ground’ makes it easier to prevail under self-defense theory than the law that existed beforehand,” Lave is quoted saying. “I think what he’s saying is, his case is so strong that he doesn’t need ‘stand your ground.’”

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