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Media Crosses Line In Trayvon Martin Case

April 2, 2012 by staff 

Media Crosses Line In Trayvon Martin Case, When does self-defense cross the legal line? It’s a question that is being asked all over America in the wake of last month’s shooting death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin. Martin, 17, was shot and killed on Feb. 26 by George Zimmerman, 28, a self-appointed neighborhood watch captain in the Orlando suburb of Sanford.

Zimmerman says he started trailing Martin as the boy walked home from a convenience store because Martin, who is African-American, looked suspicious. Zimmerman says he stopped following Martin and was returning to his car when the boy attacked him. Zimmerman claims he shot Martin in self-defense.

Zimmerman has not yet been arrested or charged with a crime, and that has sparked public outrage across the country. Most states have laws that protect a person who uses reasonable force to defend themselves. Florida has what is known as a “stand your ground” law that allows a person to shoot someone they believe is threatening them. However, most of these laws are subject to quite a bit of interpretation.

“There can be plenty of gray area in these cases,” says attorney Martin Sweet of legal information website THELAW.TV . “For example, you might use force because you believe the person you’re attacking has a gun. But what if it turns out he doesn’t have a gun?”

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