George Zimmerman’s attorneys stunned court observers Tuesday when they waived their client’s right to a “Stand Your Ground” hearing slated for April that might have led to a dismissal of the charges in the shooting death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin a year ago.
However, the defense lawyers didn’t say whether they would waive the immunity hearing outright. They left open the possibility for [the] hearing to be rolled into Zimmerman’s second degree murder trial.
It’s important to note that the basic elements of the Stand Your Ground law make no difference here — the law says you do not have a duty to retreat when under attack, but according to Zimmerman’s story he was pinned down and had no ability to retreat anyway. The hearing would have given him a chance to assert self-defense before the trial even started, but obviously waiving the hearing won’t stop him from claiming self-defense at the trial itself.
Hat tip to David Hardy.