March 13th, 2012

CNN legal contributor on FL shooting of Trayvon Martin: Stand Your Ground law moves Castle Doctrine to the street

CNN Legal Contributor and Criminal Defense Attorney Paul Callan explains ‘Stand Your Ground’ law in connection with the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida.

Callan tells CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield, “…The police have said Mr. [George] Zimmerman, when he was questioned, indicated that he was acting in self-defense, that [Martin] had attacked him and that he had the right to protect himself with a weapon. And Ashleigh, I have to tell you, Florida is one of about 15 states in the United States that have something called a ‘Stand Your Ground’ law…. And it’s very easy to assert self-defense in Florida. This law was signed by Governor Jeb Bush in 2005, and it changed the law in Florida. It said basically that even if you’re outside of your home, if you think you’re under attack and you have to protect yourself, you can use deadly physical force if you’re in fear. You don’t have to run or retreat.”

When Banfield asks if the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law is different than the ‘Castle Doctrine,’ he adds, “… What Florida has done is it’s taken the ‘Castle Doctrine,’ which means you, basically, can protect your home and it’s allowed you to use that same doctrine in the street. It moves the ‘Castle Doctrine’ to the street, and they name it ‘Stand Your Ground’ in Florida.”

Early Start with Ashleigh Banfield & Zoraida Sambolin airs week mornings from 5-7am ET on CNN.