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By Jessica Travis on Wednesday, March 5, 2014
47-year-old software-developer Michael Dunn was convicted of attempted second -degree murder on Saturday, February the 15th, for the shooting that took the life of 17-year-old Jordan Davis. Dunn was charged with first-degree murder of Davis after he fired several rounds into a parked SUV occupied by Davis and three other friends outside of a Jacksonville convenient store.
Dunn claimed that he had pulled up next to the SUV at the convenient store, upon where he heard loud music coming from the vehicle. After several attempts of asking the occupants of the vehicle to turn down the music, the parties got into an altercation in which Dunn then saw the handle of a shotgun protruding from SUV. It was at this point in which Dunn asserts he opened fire upon the four teens in the SUV in an act of self-defense.
After a 30 hour deliberation that lasted over four days, a Jacksonville jury found Dunn guilty on three counts of attempted second-degree murder. The jury could not reach a verdict on the original first-degree murder charge. The State may attempt to retry Dunn on the original count.
With the high-profile cases that have recently taken place in Florida, many people have begun to compare Dunn’s case to the George Zimmerman case that made national headlines last year.
In the Zimmerman case, George Zimmerman was found not-guilty for the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin after Martin and he got into an altercation in which Zimmerman claimed he shot Martin in an act of self-defense.
Although both cases deal with the accused claiming self-defense, the facts in Dunn are different from the Zimmerman case. In the Zimmerman case, a physical confrontation took place between the two parties before Zimmerman fired upon Martin. In the Dunn case, Dunn proceeded to fire upon the SUV without there being any physical altercation present. Although these cases are factually different, both Dunn and Zimmerman claimed self-defense for their actions and used Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law as a defense.
The controversial “Stand Your Ground” law is a type of self-defense in Florida that allows an individual to defend themselves without having a duty to retreat from the danger.
The “Stand Your Ground” law is outlined in Section 776.013 of the Florida Statutes in which home protection, use of deadly force,
presumption of fear of death or great bodily harm are discussed. This section discusses that an individual who is acting lawfully has no duty to retreat from where they are when the individual is attacked. Furthermore, the individual being attacked also has the right to defend themselves by meeting force with force, including deadly force if the individual believes that death or great bodily harm can come to them.
Self-defense, which encompasses the “Stand Your Ground” law, is a very complex defense. In order to better understand how self-defense works in the justice system, it is important to contact a specialist in criminal trials.
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Accusations of probation violations have serious consequences, but you are not helpless to their consequences. You can fight back.
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