Castle Doctrine Laws Are Not to Blame

Most have heard of the tragic shooting death of Trayvon Martin. His alleged shooter is George Zimmerman, captain of the local community watch in an Orlando suburb. Let us not involve ourselves in a knee-jerk reaction and seek to restrict castle doctrine laws around the country. Zimmerman allegedly chased down the unarmed Martin after a confrontation and shot him. If this is the case, the current castle doctrine law in Florida (known as the “Stand Your Ground” law) would not even protect the shooter. Dennis Baxley, the Florida state representative who sponsored the bill several years ago, had his to say:

The facets of the castle doctrine deal with using force to meet force as an act of self-defense when in your home, in your car, on your property, or anywhere you are legally able to be. Quite simply the castle doctrine is a good law which now protects individuals in a majority of states. However, the castle doctrine does not provide protection to individuals who seek to pursue and confront others, as is allegedly the case in the Trayvon Martin tragedy in Sanford.1

It is a tragedy that the young Trayvon Martin lost his life. It is my hope and prayer that justice is served. But let us not blame castle doctrine laws for this tragedy.


  1. FoxNews, “Republican Leaders Express Sympathy, Support ‘Stand Your Ground'”
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1 Comment

  1. Baxley is correct, and if the restrictions on castle law applicability were applied every time, then the law would work justice. Unfortunately, the restrictions of these laws are being ignored in a lot of cases.

    In Texas, Joe Horn was exonerated by a grand jury after killing two Mexicans. The 911 operator had advised him to stay indoors, but he chambered a round, announced that he was going out to kill them and did!. His deed was not self-defense, and Texas State Senator Jeff Wentworth, a proponent of their current castle law, made a public statement to that effect.

    My own grandson was shot to death in Oklahoma less than a week before his court date as a prosecution witness, yet the DA turned his killer loose on the grounds of “self-defense” under their make-my-day law. The timing with a drug-related murder trial of itself gave an appearance of evil, but the Oklahoma castle law also states clearly that it does not apply in cases where children or grandchildren are present at a shooting scene: i.e., “C. The presumption set forth in subsection B of this section does not apply if – 2. The person or persons sought to be removed are children or grandchildren.” Friends said that he went to the house to get his daughter out of a bad situation, and she was indeed there, probably as bait.

    The DA just ignored the child clause in that incident. She also ignored “Caitlin’s Law” when she turned Calvin Sterling loose after he abducted a girl in Oklahoma; Sterling went on to abduct the same girl a second time! Some believe that she released the man who committed the murder that my grandson witnessed. Is there a pattern in that record?

    There are still more flagrant examples of castle law inapplicability at my website, where you will also find more detail concerning my grandson’s homicide. You are invited to visit the site. Click into my blog (on the blue stripe beneath the panorama of cliffs).

    Sometimes the justice system lets murderers get away with their crime; sometimes they are punished. If we do not have the means to defend ourselves we are being thrown to the wolves. Neither do we live in a safe place when the court system allows murderers to go unpunished. The blame for a lot of this situation goes to the courts.


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