[Update: July 14: George Zimmerman found not guilty; evidentiary issue below seems critical.]
Repeatedly, I have wondered, as the issue of whether George Zimmerman acted in self defense has been debated, if Trayvon Martin didn’t initiate physical contact but engaged in it as a reaction to physical aggression by Zimmerman, would Zimmerman be legally protected by reacting in fear for his safety by shooting Martin.
On Fox — my favorite source — criminal defense attorney Jennifer Bonjean directly addressed this issue, saying that if it were the case that a physical or clear threat were presented by Zimmerman and Martin reacted to it in fear of his safety that Zimmerman would not have legally had the right to defend himself and/or shoot Martin.
Glad to finally hear this issue addressed. Of course, the complication is that with only one of the disputants alive, how does the jury determine who was the initial aggressor?
Professor Vatz teaches Rhetoric and Communication at Towson University and is the author of The Only Authentic Book of Persuasion (Kendall Hunt, 2012, 2013)