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Understanding "Stand Your Ground" Law

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Craig_VA, Aug 24, 2019.

  1. Craig_VA

    Craig_VA Member

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    The morning news on Saturday, August 23 presented a headline,
    Florida gun owner who claimed self-defense convicted in 'Stand Your Ground' case
    The key information in the article is in the third paragraph:
    "In surveillance video played for the jury, McGlockton is seen emerging from the store and shoving Drejka to the ground. Seconds later, Drejka pulls out Glock .40-caliber handgun and shoots McGlockton, 28, as he turned away." (emphasis added)​
    I think the fact that McGLockton was turning away and moving away from the Drejka made it easy for the jury to decide that Drejka was not protected by the Stand Your Ground law, even though it was McGlocton, not Drejka, who initiated the confrontation. Drejka may have claimed SYG as a defense, but this did not meet the requirements of the law.

    I am posting this to prompt discussion on the nuances and requirements of SYG, in FL or elsewhere.
    (BTW, here in Arkansas we have a Duty to Retreat; there is no SYG protection in the law.)
     
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  2. Keith G

    Keith G Member

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    Saw it on the news this morning. It appears (and we weren’t there and only see a grainy video with no sound) that the guy that pushed him was done after that and was in the process of walking away. So I don’t feel the shot was justified from what I’ve seen. Now had he pulled his firearm as the guy was charging him and he kept coming, the jury might have come to a different decision. But we’ll never know.

    EDIT: I have absolutely zero knowledge of the events that led up to the encounter. I only saw a quick thing on the news this morning that a man was found guilty for manslaughter(?) in a stand your ground case.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
  3. RETG

    RETG Member

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    I also do not believe the shot was necessary. Drejka had been yelling or at least confronting McGlockton's girlfriend cause she was parked in a handicapped spot. So McGlocklin appears to be upset and just pushed Drejka away from the car and his girlfriend (or at least a lady friend) and then started to walk away.

    This is a decent article with info on the entire confrontation with the lady. Also gives a short history of Drejka which is not pertinent to this confrontation since I would guess McGlocklin had no knowledge of Drejka's problem with people and even his pointing a gun at a truck driver once.

    https://www.vox.com/identities/2018...und-florida-michael-drejka-markeis-mcglockton

    My non-legal opinion of stand your ground (outside of your home) is as long as you are being confronted and feel you are in danger, you do not have to retreat (run and hide) and if you feel the danger is a threat to your life or a possibly great bodily harm, you can defend yourself with a weapon. However, if the threat retreats and is no longer a direct threat, and you no longer feel your life is in danger or you are in danger of great bodily harm, you cannot use deadly force or even non deadly force. Again, just a quick non-legal opinion on Sat. AM.)
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
  4. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    From what can be seen on the video, Drejka belongs in prison. In some states he could be charged with 1st degree murder.
    I am not familiar with Florida's stand your ground law. I bet it doesn't say I can yell at your girlfriend then kill you if you push me.
     
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  5. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    Tampa Bay Times had a database of Florida Stand Your Ground cases that I consulted at the time of the Zimmerman/Martin case.
    Basically, SYG prevailed in about 2 out of 3 cases were the use of lethal force was found justifiable and failed in the about 1 out of 3 cases where SYG was claimed but the use of lethal force was NOT justifiable. [edited to clarify]
    The basic benefit of SYG is that you don't go to jail, lose your job, your house, etc while awaiting trial in a justifiable homicide/self-defense case.
    Since black Floridians are more likely to be crime victims than white Floridians, the SYG benefited black defenders out of proportion to their percentage of the Florida population. Blacks prevailed in SYG cases against white attackers at about the same ratio as white against white or white against black. Removing SYG will hurt black crime victims forced to defend themselves.
    But if the use of lethal force was found unnecessary (the reasonable person -- jury, judge, prosecutor -- trying the case would not have been in fear of death or greivous bodily harm), SYG did not help a bad shooter.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
  6. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator

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    That's technically true of AR law, but I'd like to clarify its contours. Here's our Use of Deadly Force statute, which contains that duty, with the pertinent parts underlined:
     
  7. Texas10mm

    Texas10mm Member

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    Many times the media uses the term "stand your ground" when that's not the case. The media claimed the Zimmerman case was a SYG encounter. It was not, it was simple self defense.

    I don't know if the media is willfully ignorant or just pushing their agenda, but SYG just means you don't have to retreat.
     
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  8. alsaqr

    alsaqr Member

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    Drejka, the self appointed parking lot cop, went too far. Now there come the consequences.
     
  9. <*(((><
    • Contributing Member

    <*(((>< Luke

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    My thoughts exactly @alsaqr our concealed firearms license do not come with a badge and we are not institutors of the law.

    When a civilian carries a gun situations like confronting someone about illegally parking is not a good scenario. Escalation of confrontations can happen fast and if the civilian carrying starts the confrontation (even if its civil at first) and the situation ends up with the civilian using his/her firearm they are in a tough spot.

    As I carry throughout my day there is very little situations worthy of having confrontations about. And any confrontations I know that I always have to deescalate at every opportunity when carrying a firearm.
     
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  10. BSA1

    BSA1 Member

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    The most important thing to take away from this incident is too shut your mouth and not answer any questions until you have had a chance to talk with a lawyer.

    The Police are not your friend. They may act like Joe Friendly in order to make you more comfortable and willing to talk. The shooter was interviewed by the Police for six hours! Six hours about a incident that happened in 20 or so seconds.
     
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  11. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator

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    Mod note: I'm going to remind everyone why the OP started this thread:
    It's not right, wrong, or generalities. Let's stick to the specifics of SYG laws.
     
  12. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    This is the adjudication of the 19 July 2018 incident in Clearwater, Florida parking lot. Video shows Markeis McGlockton shoving Michael Drejka to the ground and turning away. Drejka pulls a pistol and shoots. I believe there was thread on this when it happened. This is not a new case.
    In Tennessee handgun carry permit class that kind of scenario was described to my understanding as unlawful use of force.
     
  13. alsaqr

    alsaqr Member

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    This was not a "stand your ground" situation.

    The shooter could have said the magic words and the interrogation would have ceased. Magic words: "I want a lawyer".
     
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  14. BSA1

    BSA1 Member

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    Fixed it for you.

    There are a lot of information on the Internet about why telling the Police more than the basic description of what happen is a bad idea before getting a lawyer. Massad Ayoob, who many hold in high regard, has written articles about this subject.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
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  15. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    So...I grew up in Tampa, and I carried daily once I was 21, which was before SYG.

    1.) The Zimmerman case would have been justified even before SYG, even with the older, duty-to-retreat laws. Martin approached Zimmerman, said something to him about why he was following him, and then started to beat him. In the old duty to retreat system in Florida, you could initiate a confrontation, and, if you were trying to break off that confrontation and retreat, could still be justified in using lethal force.

    2.) In this current case, Drejka absolutely was the instigator of this conflict. He had no authority nor personal self interest in where McGlockton parked his car. Dreka's actions alone created this entire situation. The fact that McGlockton was retreating when he was shot makes it all the worse.

    I dislike SYG because it empowers people to create these scenarios. Zimmerman really had no business following Martin, and the 911 operator told him that. Drejka had no business chastising a stranger for illegal parking. Are you kidding me? Illegal parking? In the end, I'm glad the ruling went this way. If we don't get a handle on this SYG stuff, and really clarify what it means...I mean, what's next, shoot someone for passing you in a construction zone?

    I illustrate the two cases above to show that, if you're justified in lethal force, you don't need SYG, and if you're not justified, SYG won't save you.
     
  16. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    A better course of action would have been to keep his mouth shut in the parking lot.
     
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  17. Basura Blanca

    Basura Blanca Member

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    I agree this was an overreaction but...

    Did McGlockton turn away, or did he simply back up? At what point does a person not become a threat in that sort of situation? The guy is on the ground, the aggressor isn't. In the absence of SYG, doesn't being on the ground at least make it more difficult to effectively retreat?
     
  18. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    The benefit of SYG is that before, at least in FL, you had a duty to retreat EVEN IN YOUR OWN HOME. Over-zealous DAs trying to make a name for themselves or garner support for a political career could (and did) charge homeowners defending themselves because they didnt flee out their back door when discovering an intruder. This placed a huge burden on the homeowner to not only prove that they were in fear for life and limb, but also had no means of escape or capability to barricade themselves in a safe room.

    The families of intruders who were shot while commiting break-ins were also using this as an argument in their wrongeful-death lawsuits.

    Unfortunately, many defense attorneys are abusing SYG as a blanket defense for bad shoots such as this one and threatening all of us with having it repealed.:cuss:
     
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  19. Ephraim Kibbey

    Ephraim Kibbey Member

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    I too saw the videos this morning. I saw Drejka arguing with someone in a parked car. I saw McGlockton come out of the store and pull Drejka away from the car and onto the ground and face him from the walkway. I saw Drejka pull out a gun. I saw McGlockton back away from the drawn gun. I then saw him grab the front of his torso, turn away from the gun and stumble back into the store.

    According to my reading of most stand-your-ground laws, once the gun was produced and McGlockton started to back away he ceased to be a threat and shooting him was plain murder as the jury found. What would any of us have done if we found someone was harassing our wife or girlfriend. Perhaps Drejka's conviction and time in prison will make someone else stop and think before pulling a trigger.

    We gun owners need to be the first to condemn the misuse of firearms by American Nazis, Radicals and Angry Nutjobs! We need to police our own and say something as soon as the guy in the lane next to us or online starts talking about who he plans to shoot because they don't believe exactly the same as he does. America is not going to tolerate our having these TOYS much longer if the indiscriminate slaughter continues. WE need to do everything WE can to stop it because WE have a lot to lose!
     
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  20. ponchh

    ponchh Member

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    There is a duty to retreat in Arkansas, but only if you can do so in complete safety. It leaves alot to interpretation of the situation.
    On the other hand, there isn't any such requirement on your own property, inside or outside of your house.
     
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  21. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    Even before FL SYG, if McGlockton had still been moving towards Drejka, it would have been a good shoot because he was on the ground and unable to retreat.

    The fact the McGlockton was moving away makes it a bad shoot regardless of SYG.

    The only way SYG would have applied to this case would have been if Drejka was still on his feet and had the ability to retreat as McGlockton was still moving towards him after the inititial push and his weapon was drawn. SYG would mean that he was NOT required to make a reasonable attempt to flee at that point if he still felt he was defending life and limb.

    An example of a good shoot here in FL involving SYG occured in 2015 when a driver followed a guy on a motorcycle to a gas station after a road rage incident and confronted him aggressively. The biker was young and fit and perfectly capable of running away as the driver came at him, but was not required to do so.

    In this case, the biker pulled his legally carried concealed weapon and warned off the irate driver who continued to advance. Indeed, the biker actually did back up several steps before discharging his weapon. The motorist was hit, nonfatally, and taken to the hospital.

    Initially, the biker refused to talk to the authorities without his lawyer and was arrested and charged with aggravated armed assault based on the drivers account of the incident. Fortunately, eyewitnesses and security camera footage supported the bikers story that the car driver was the aggressor and the charges were dropped. Without SYG it would have been a bad shoot because he didnt run away.
     
  22. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    That's incorrect. Florida always had a castle doctrine home defense law. Duty to retreat only applied to public spaces.



    Agreed. Not just attorneys, but CCW licensees are thinking it's a cure-all.
     
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  23. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    I'm fairly sure the jurors were asking themselves the very same question.
     
  24. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    And this is what sucks about this entire system, regardless of the SYG debate. That arrest record is permanent. That guy applies for a job or to lease a home, and that arrest will turn up on the back ground check.
     
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  25. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    Ahh, my understanding of the castle doctrine exemption of FLS 776.013 was based on language from 2014 (which has since been removed) which indicated that the duty to retreat was removed only once an attack was in progress.
     
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