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Darkness in the Sunshine State

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It's fair to question the motivation behind that element of "Stand Your Ground" as well as to presume that even Jeb Bush would recognize the common sense behind the idea that in incidents involving killings of unarmed victims where there are no corroborating witnesses, an arrest or, at the very least, a prolonged visit to police headquarters to answer a relentless barrage of questions is probably more appropriate than simply accepting the shooter's alibi as a matter of routine.

But sure enough, in the Martin shooting, Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee's reaction to questions about why Zimmerman was allowed to walk made it clear that he felt legally obligated to accept Zimmerman's word.

According to Lee: "Zimmerman provided a statement claiming he acted in self defense, which at the time was supported by physical evidence and testimony.   By Florida Statute, law enforcement was prohibited from making an arrest based on the facts and circumstances they had at the time."

The Martin case has darkened the skies over the Sunshine State in ways that far override the implications of its characterization as God's Waiting Room.   These days, older people are living much longer, healthier lives thus, over the last few years the Waiting Room has become less crowded.   Yet also in Florida, as in many places elsewhere in America, the streets are choked with a multitude of young powder kegs just like George Zimmerman -- vigilant hot-heads packing concealed weapons and on the loose.  

Which raises the possibility that with "Stand Your Ground" entrenched among the range of dispute-settling remedies Florida dispenses to its residents, the Waiting Room's age demographic may soon begin to experience a downward trend, while at the same time become more crowded than ever.

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Anthony Barnes, of Boston, Massachusetts, is a free-lance writer who leans toward the progressive end of the political spectrum. "When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world. I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to (more...)

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...gets to claim self-defense. ... by Anthony Barnes on Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 4:59:31 AM
A couple days after Martin's death, the Orlando Se... by Robert James on Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 7:45:05 AM
Man charged with multiple felonies for pointing hi... by Adnihilo Left Libertarian on Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 12:37:13 PM