Stand your ground

What a handy little law for people who want to off people they don’t like without going to jail!

As trial approaches for the man who generated national controversy over Stand Your Ground laws when he shot dead 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on a Florida street, a jury has acquitted another man under Florida’s controversial law, after he shot dead a man he caught having sex with his wife.

Ralph Wald, a 70-year-old Vietnam veteran, walked into his home around midnight, and less than ten seconds later, fired three shots at Walter Conley, according to ABC News. He told the jury he thought Conley was raping his wife when he saw them having intercourse in his home. But during a 911 call, when the dispatcher asked Wald if the man was dead, Wald responded, “I hope so!” and refused to help the man. He asked for medical help for his wife, Johnna Flores, since he thought he accidentally shot her also. He said he didn’t recognize Conley even though he had been roommates with his wife prior to her relationship with Wald, lived next door to Wald, had tattoos of Flores on his neck and back, and worked for Flores at her fencing company.

Prosecutors argued that Wald, who suffered from erectile dysfunction, killed Conley in a jealous rage, pointing out that Wald used the word “fornicate” in reports to police, and never the word “rape.”

To acquit Wald under the state’s Stand Your Ground law, Wald had to prove only that he believed his wife was being raped. It doesn’t matter that he shot immediately without taking time to assess the situation, nor that he could have likely taken other measures short of firing three shots into Conley’s head and back. Stand Your Ground laws authorize the unfettered use of deadly force where someone fears assault, without even a duty to first attempt to retreat.

2 Responses to Stand your ground

  1. imhotep June 4, 2013 at 11:30 am #

    Both ALEC and the NRA are in the death business. There is big money to be made in the death business. Just ask the drone manufactuers. Here’s a question; what’s the difference between a targeted drone strike and some guy targeting a British soldier to stab and hack to death in the middle of the road? Other than the fact that one of these acts is NOT a state sponsored assassination and the other act is? Similarly Stand Your Ground is legal and murder is not? Splitting hairs is a very dangerous game.

  2. lless June 4, 2013 at 8:49 pm #

    This is an awful case, but Stand Your Ground was not necessary to an acquittal. The duty of retreat does not apply to the commission of a violent felony against oneself or another, especially in defense of a home. Sell the proposition that the defendant thought this to be an active rape and conventional principles of self defense require the prosecution to prove ruse beyond a reasonable doubt. Trayvon Martin is the Stand Your Ground paradigm. This not so much.

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