ALEC’s Stand Your Ground and George Zimmerman declared not guilty

zimmermanAmerican Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) created the Stand Your Ground laws and tonight it appears they can celebrate a victory with declaration by a jury that George Zimmerman was not guilty when he shot and killed Trayvon Martin, a 17 year old African American teenager armed only with a package of Skittles.

Daily Kos declared earlier tonight that perhaps Zimmerman is not guilty, but ALEC certainly is.

Earlier this week Politicusua shared:

“However, it was irrelevant because in America a young African American teen is automatically the bad guy and according to ALEC’s so-called “Castle Doctrine” any American is “justified using lethal force and has no duty to retreat if they are in a place where he or she has a right to be and think  force is necessary to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.” Trayvon Martin was tried, convicted, and executed by George Zimmerman who thought Trayvon was in the “commission of a forcible felony” of walking while Black in a white neighborhood, and no reasonable human being can argue otherwise.”

Andrew Cohen of The Atlantic shared his views on what the Zimmerman verdict in Florida’s ALEC-infused justice system:

“To me, on its most basic level, the startling Zimmerman verdict — and the case and trial that preceded it — is above all a blunt reminder of the limitations of our justice system. Criminal trials are not searches for the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. They never have been. Our rules of evidence and the Bill of Rights preclude it. Our trials are instead tests of only that limited evidence a judge declares fit to be shared with jurors, who in turn are then admonished daily, hourly even, not to look beyond the corners of what they’ve seen or heard in court.”

Global Grind calls for the “revoking of George Zimmerman’s right to kill” and spotlighted the role of ALEC in state capitols around the country:

“ALEC does not often make headlines, and the shadowy organization has been able to keep a low profile on the media circuit due to its powerful corporate force.  ALEC is an organization that brings politicians, corporations and their lobbyists together to help promote and advance corporate interests.  It is lobbying at its best.

“Think Global, Act Local” is not just a mantra for environmental action, it is also how ALEC pushes it’s agenda –one statehouse at a time.  First you dine them, then you wine them, and after a few cigars at some exclusive resort, you send legislators back to their Capitals or Congress and fast track as many ALEC approved bills as possible. 

Every year, ALEC pushes nearly 1,000 bills that promote the interests of their corporate funders, and of those, at least 200 become law somewhere in America.”



  1. In August of 2012 Zimmerman’s attorneys decided not to use “stand your ground” so in fact there is no connection…quick search would have told you that

  2. NDG Staff says:

    Your quick search — or click on the articles linked — would have told you that whether Zimmerman’s legal defense rested on Stand Your Ground or not, the creation of this law in Florida and spread around the country by ALEC was a factor in the eyes of many. Do you feel ALEC and their financial backers are not going to tout this verdict as vindication that their legislation was just?

  3. It was not a factor to the judge, attorneys or jurors. Anyone who touts this case as a victory for “SYG” is mistaken as to the difference between that and self-defense…ALEC or otherwise.

  4. As the first commenter correctly pointed out, Zimmerman’s defense team mounted a standard self-defense claim and did not argue a Stand Your Ground defense. The jury based their not guilty decision on the self-defense claim mounted, and never addressed Stand Your Ground either explicitly or tangentially because it did not play a part in the trial. NDG Staff, you may say that Stand Your Ground played a part in the “eyes of many”, but those people would be factually incorrect because the law was not used in the present case. Sometimes, NDG Staff, admitting your mistakes allows you to salvage a little of the credibility that you’ve already lost on an issue.

  5. NDG Staff says:

    I make mistakes often – and have no problem owning up to them.

    However, the suggestion that ALEC and SYG fingerprints are not on this case is a point we will have to agree to disagree.

  6. Mark Able Jones says:

    Not an issue with SYG. This is an issue with Florida’s lack of a “self-defense by excessive force” statute. As it stands, Zimmerman had to prove was that a reasonable person in his situation would have feared imminent bodily harm (regardless of whether that fear was justified). Without Martin alive to refute Zimmerman’s claim over who started the fight (and the witness who testified that Martin was straddling Zimmerman as he punched him), it’s not a far jump to assume a person being straddled and beaten by another would reasonably believes they either kill said attacker or “suffer great bodily harm.” Had Florida adopted the Model Penal Code suggestions regarding self-defense, Zimmerman’s right to use deadly force would not have applied unless he was actually in imminent danger of suffering great bodily harm (not just whether he reasonably believed he was).

  7. Abel ashes says:

    Wasn’t Martin acting in self defense? He was stalked in the dark by an unknown armed civilian all the way to his front yard. Would you not feel the need to defend yourself in a similar situation?

  8. Suggest a little more research . Ethos appeal in you writing fails.

  9. anonymous says:

    Any time; (1) a non law enforcement unidentified person (in a car) follows an innocent, walking second person who tries to elude the first person, and (2) the first person gets out of his car after catching the second person and gets involved in a fight with the second person, the first person – who in this case is Zimmerman, is obviously the aggressor and at fault. Zimmerman is obviously – in this case on the offensive…not the defensive. There is no way he can claim that he was defending anything regardless of what happened after he initiated the conflict. He was the offender – not a defender. He should be charged with a criminal charge!

    Had I been on that jury, there is no way that I could have voted for his acquittal. He is undoubtedly currently a free outlaw who should be brought to justice!

  10. ashes…We weren’t talking about the merits of the case. Only how ‘stand your ground’ and ‘personal defense’ are different and the media is overstating this cases implications on ‘stand your ground”
    But….are you saying a proper response to being followed is to attack the person and beat them up? You are also assuming TM knew that GZ had a weapon…a concealed weapon. If TM had not been shot and left after beating GZ up, do you really think he could use “self-defense” to rationalize it? He would have been charged with Aggravated Assault, a 3rd degree felony, up to 5 years in jail. And if as you claim, mistakenly, he was followed “all the way to his front yard” why didn’t he go inside lock the doors and call the police. If you look at the evidence, you would find that the altercation was a number of houses away and behind the homes. Regardless of how you feel about right vs wrong, I encourage you learn the facts and evidence in this case.

  11. anonymous, are you referencing a law or precedent set by previous case? If you are, I would like look deeper into the issue in order to further educate myself. In this case there is no evidence that GZ was an aggressor only an observer. What ‘criminal offense’ would you charge him with?

    4. to watch carefully especially with attention to details or behavior for the purpose of arriving at a judgment
    1. a forceful action or procedure (as an unprovoked attack) especially when intended to dominate or master
    2. the practice of making attacks or encroachment
    3. hostile, injurious, or destructive behavior or outlook especially when caused by frustration….from Merriam-Webster.com

  12. anonymous says:

    In the article, although some aspects of the Travon Martin case were addressed; no restrictions were placed on the inclusion of other aspects in the comments/discussion. The “merits of the case” are just as valid as topics for commentary as the original “stand your ground”/ALEC questions. On the other hand, (I don’t know) you might be one of those folk who does not believe in freedom of speech and expression. In that case, I could see how you would want to omit certain aspects of the case from discussion.

    To me, it appears that you are clearly for the unquestioned murder of Travon Martin and the freedom of Zimmerman. Your assessment of the “evidence” is skewed – to put it mildly. I will agree to disagree with you on most of your points.

  13. I was pointing out that you were commenting off topic of the article and the discussion. I apologize if you felt I was an “aggressor.”

    Evidence is the information presented during the case. You may call my assessment if what is evidence “skewed” if you like, but help me understand your position by explaining why you feel I have misrepresented the evidence. I presented information to counter your false and inflammatory claim and you attacked me personally. An attack with no merit outside of your own feelings. If you had true and correct facts to present you would have presented them. You are free to disagree, but please do it with facts and reasoning not childish personal attacks-to put it mildly.

  14. anonymous says:

    First, let me offer apologies and explanation for not responding before now. I do have other important things to do besides sit by the computer and trade views with those who disagree with me.

    Now, let me address my disagreement with you and your description of the form of my disagreement. You may choose to describe my response to you as an attack. However, that value judgement is not necessarily true. Now; as for “true and correct facts”…I already presented the important one to you. Of course, your mind is probably permanently closed to anything new that a faceless-nameless-figure from the internet could provide for you. I’d probably have to be Rush Limbaugh or somebody in order to be fairly considered by you. But let me send you back to my first statement in this thread that begins “Any time”. Now in terms of your having presented “information to counter…” my statements; as I said earlier, we should agree to disagree because you only present your personal assesments of the situation – not cold hard facts. If anything is false and inflammatory about this exchange, it’s your attempt to support the senseless murder of an innocent young man.

    I am sure we will only disagree about this incident so I will not be responding to any more of your comments. I do have other more important things to do.

  15. You said I don’t believe in free speech and support the unquestioned murder of a young man…that is an attack. You still have not presented a fact with any sort of logical or legal backing and only quoted my statement in a condescending tone. You are trying to be a bully and now that I have challenged you intellectually you are running.

Speak Your Mind


Carmina Barnett Footerboard Ad