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Letter: Odd Notion of Self-Defense

To the Editor:

George Parry’s op-ed (“An Innocent Man Is Accused of Murdering Trayvon Martin,” June 7) proclaims George Zimmerman as innocent without any consideration for the events leading up to his altercation with Trayvon Martin. It is sufficient for Parry that the evidence suggests that Zimmerman was being physically assaulted at the time that he shot Martin, and thus should never have been arrested. In Parry’s novel interpretation of self-defense, someone carrying a firearm is perfectly within his rights to provoke a fight and then, if he starts losing, to gun down his opponent with complete immunity from prosecution because, at that point, he has a reasonable fear for his safety.

Fortunately, the Florida prosecutor appears to have a very different view of self-defense, in which someone who chooses to carry a gun bears a responsibility to avoid belligerent, threatening behavior that is likely to precipitate a conflict in which he may subsequently feel the need to use deadly force to defend himself.

Jeffrey Semprebon



Column: An Innocent Man Is Accused of Murdering Trayvon Martin

Thursday, June 6, 2013

On Monday, in a Florida courtroom, George Zimmerman goes on trial for the murder of Trayvon Martin. In the immediate aftermath of Martin’s death in February 2012, the media portrayed Zimmerman as a gun-crazy vigilante who stalked and murdered a harmless black youth. Since then, Mark O’Mara, Zimmerman’s tenacious lawyer, has extracted bits and pieces of evidence from an ethically …