SENATOR McDREAMY, YOUR THOUGHTS?
I wonder when someone is going to ask Senator Marco Rubio about the killing of Trayvon Martin in Florida, and specifically about Florida's "stand your ground" law, which passed in 2005 and which gives would-be shooters extraordinary leeway:
The courts' interpretation of the stand-your-ground law has been extremely broad -- so broad that, to win an acquittal, a defendant doesn't even have to prove self-defense, only argue for it, while to win a conviction the prosecution has to prove that self-defense was impossible.
... the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt never shifts from the prosecution, so it's surprisingly easy to evade prosecution by claiming self-defense.
This has led to some stunning verdicts in the state. In Tallahassee in 2008, two rival gangs engaged in a neighborhood shootout, and a 15-year-old African American male was killed in the crossfire. The three defendants all either were acquitted or had their cases dismissed, because the defense successfully argued they were defending themselves under the "stand your ground" law....
Rubio was in the Florida House of Representatives from 2000 to early 2009 (he became the House Speaker in 2006); the bill passed the Florida House 94-20 in 2005, then passed the Senate unanimously and was signed into law by then-governor Jeb Bush. Rubio, needless to say, voted in favor of the NRA-supported bill.
There were those who warned at the time that this might lead to avoidable shootings; of course, such pleas fell on deaf ears.
Now Marco Rubio clearly wants to be vice president of the United States, or at least position himself to run for president in the near future by being the GOP running mate this year. So would somebody please ask him about the Trayvon Martin shooting, and about the bill he supported? I say this because I bet he won't dare to defy the gun lobby and the far right by questioning the application of the "castle doctrine" in this case, which clearly involves a shooter who wasn't threatened.