July 1, 2013

ZIMMERMAN UPDATE: How Much Injury Is Required Before Self-Defense is Justified?

Thoughout the week the State has sought to minimize the apparent seriousness of Mr. Zimmerman’s injuries. These efforts reached an almost ludicrous stage during Friday afternoon’s re-cross of Lindzee Folgate, the physician’s assistant who examined Zimmerman the day after the shooting. Apparently frustrated at Mr. O’Mara’s masterful performance on cross-examination (see Zimmerman Trial Day 5 – Analysis & Video – State’s own witnesses undercut theory of guilt for our analysis) Mr. de la Rionda asked, as if he meant it, whether all people have perfectly round heads or wasn’t it true that a person can have a bumpy or raised area of their head as a normal state of affairs, and not solely as the result of traumatic injury. . . .

The very idea that the State is seeking to establish–that self-defense is conditional upon actually suffering serious injury–is, of course, ridiculous on its face. The purpose of the law of self-defense, particularly in the context of the use deadly defensive force, is to be able to protect yourself from an imminent threat of death or grave bodily harm before that harm occurs, not to require that you actually experience death or grave bodily harm before you may act to protect yourself.

Not very impressive.