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The Self Defense Motive
Posted by Trevor Roberts on Aug 15, 2014 - 6:55:42 PM

UNITED STATES—No crime is considered more heinous than that of murder. It is a crime so despicable, so haunting, to describe the impact or aftermath is impossible to do. To take another person’s life without just cause deserves a punishment that fits the crime: life behind bars. But what do you do in the situation of murder through self-defense?

The self-defense motive is a slippery slope in the legal arena.
Yes, the self-defense explanation is a tricky one to say the least. The case involving George Zimmerman and the murder of Trayvon Martin rattled the nation; there was so much discussion about the Stand Your Ground law in the state of Florida, which is also prevalent in many other U.S. states. The question of the day is just because you have the ability to Stand Your Ground in a life or death situation, does that mean you should actually do it? I don’t think so.


There is one thing to have your life threatened; there is another thing to ‘think’ your life is being threatened. Either in a quick second you could die or actions can be taken to escape the situation. The national case involving Zimmerman fatally shooting an unarmed Martin caused riots and outrage across the country, as many were unable to wrap their minds around the fact that Zimmerman didn’t follow the requests of 911 operators to not follow Martin who he suspected was up to no good.  The defense pleaded self-defense, but it’s difficult to grasp considering Martin was unarmed. 


After an intense trial, Zimmerman was found not guilty. Outrage exploded across the country, in the wake of the jury’s decision.  Now a similar predicament has occurred involving an unarmed St. Louis teen who was fatally shot by police. Protests have already erupted with people looting and ripping the small town of Ferguson, Missouri apart. Reports have stated that Michael Brown was surrendering to authorities when he was fatally shot. No weapon in hand, his arms in the air, so what happened?


That’s the problem, in so many of these self-defense cases, the story of the victim can only be heard through speculation or a re-enactment of the events itself. Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Renisha McBride, all victims killed by their perpetrator in self defense. In the Martin case, things went in the direction of the defendant, in the McBride case, the defendant was found guilty of murder, with Brown the verdict is still in limbo.


It seems apparent more Americans are using the idea of self defense as a way of getting away with murder. If self defense is the motive, you better be damn certain that you can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that your life was in imminent danger and you had no other option, but to take a life.


I always question a person who takes a life, without showing any sign of remorse. To kill someone and not have any guilt, remorse, fear or sadness about what has transpired; it’s appalling in my opinion. You’ve taken a person’s ability to live, to breathe on this planet. How in the world can you not be eaten away about the consequences of your actions? Even if I was faced with a life or death situation, which I literally have encountered, I would still have to think before taking the life of someone because once it’s done it’s not something that you can take back.


Cliffside Malibu




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