A 2000 US Department of Justice report showed that African-American women experienced intimate partner violence at a rate 35 percent higher than that of white women. “In 2007, African-American female victims of intimate partner homicide were twice as likely as white female homicide victims to be killed by a spouse,” according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. A study conducted in 2002 by Tufts University found that 40 percent of African-American women report coercive contact of a sexual nature by age 18, as cited by the American Bar Association. The same study found that the number one killer of African-American women ages 15 to 34 is homicide at the hands of a current or former intimate partner, and that only 17 percent of African-American women survivors of sexual assault report the assault to the police.
A properly instructed jury should have heard the complete law of self-defense in Florida, not just the portions that helped Zimmerman. Had the jury been instructed about the initial aggressor exception, it might have concluded that Zimmerman’s following of Martin, though itself not criminal, was reasonably apprehended by Martin as a “threat of force.” Put another way, the jury might have concluded that Martin was the one acting in self-defense during the physical confrontation that preceded the gunshot, making Zimmerman the aggressor.
- Did “Stand Your Ground” Matter in the George Zimmerman Case? (lawprofessors.typepad.com)
- Zimmerman Jury Was Misled About The Meaning of Florida’s Self Defense Law (politicususa.com)
- Alafair Burke: What You May Not Know About the Zimmerman Verdict: The Evolution of a Jury Instruction (huffingtonpost.com)
- Juror: Trayvon Martin “played a huge role in his death.” (Did prosecution play role in acquittal?) (miamiherald.typepad.com)
- Silence outside the courthouse following Zimmerman verdict (video.msnbc.msn.com)
- Jurors find Zimmerman not guilty (appeal-democrat.com)
- Rallies against Zimmerman verdict being held in US (miamiherald.com)