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Are "Stand Your Ground" laws going to far

Kern 2012/04/14 01:29:23
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Judge Cites "Stand Your Ground" to Clear Greyston Garcia in Little Havana Stabbing


By Kyle Munzenrieder
Wed., Mar. 28 2012 at 10:50 AM




greystongarcia.jpg
Greyston Garcia
In
the midst of the Trayvon Martin controversy, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge
Beth Bloom has cited Florida's controversial Stand Your Ground law to
drop charges against Greyston Garcia after he fatally stabbed a car
radio thief in Little Havana on January 25th. Though, Garcia apparently
initiated the violence, never called police, hid the knife, and then
later sold two of the car radios the man had stolen.



In the early hours of January 25, Garcia spotted Pedro Roteta and
another man rummaging through his truck and taking off with his car
radio according to the Miami Herald.
Roteta and his accomplice had apparently been on a radio stealing
spree, and Roteta was carrying a bag filled with three car radios.

Garcia
decided to chase after Roteta with a knife, and caught up to him.
Roteta swung the bag of radios at Garcia's head. Garcia blocked the bag,
and then countered by lunging a knife in Roteta's chest. The stabbing
killed Roteta. Garcia then took off with the radio, even those not
belonging to him, and never called police. Garcia hid the knife used and
sold the two car radios that did not belong to him.

judge_2665.jpg
Judge Bloom
When
eventually contacted by police Garcia denied involvement, but
eventually admitted that he was involved. He said he feared for his life
because Roteta had a screwdriver in his hand, but eventually recanted
that account and merely said he feared for his life because of the bag
of radios.

Prosecutors charged Garcia with second-degree murder,
but his defense was able to successfully argue for the charges to be
dropped under the Stand Your Ground law.

Judge Bloom apparently
agreed with a medical examiner who testified that a bag of radio swung
at a head could cause serious harm or death, and that the defendant
Garcia "was well within his rights to pursue the victim and demand the
return of his property."

"The law does not allow for you to use
deadly force to retrieve your property. She, in effect, is saying that
it's appropriate to chase someone down with a knife to get property
back," Miami-Dade Chief Assistant State Attorney Kathleen Hoague tells the Herald.

Prosecutors plan to appeal Bloom's ruling.

Read More: http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/riptide/2012/03/jud...

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  • john Kills 2012/04/14 02:36:58 (edited)
    Stand your ground laws will eventually cut down crime
    john Kills
    +1
    This is not a stand your ground case and you know it. Everyone, reguarless of race has the right to protect themselves, their family, if threatened with bodily harm. I strongly support the stand your ground laws. I carry daily but act as though I do not have a gun. I don't go anywhere or put myself in any situations when carrying a gun that I wouldn't put myself in if I didn't. If I am walking out of the grocery store at night and I am approached while unlocking my car and am threatened with harm then I have the right to stand my ground. I have alway been law abiding and want to remain so but, if they take away my right to carry I will carry anyway. I refuse to make myself a helpless victim just because some dumbass law makers with their heads up their rearends pass a stupid law. And if someone tries to rob me, one of us will die and I'll do everything I can to make sure it's the robber.
  • Kern john Kills 2012/04/14 04:15:12 (edited)
    Kern
    The judge sighted the Stand Your Ground law when she let the guy go. He didn't have to chase the guy down. He didn't have to kill. And, he wasn't charged for lying to the police or selling stolen goods. I do agree with you that this isn't a stand your ground situation but that is what the judge used to let this guy go.
  • john Kills Kern 2012/04/14 04:21:46
    john Kills
    +1
    The judge was wrong. We can protest judge's decisions but I don't think we should attack good laws. I like being able to carry legally and I feel better knowing the law is on my side should I ever find myself in a bad situation. I hope that never happens to you or I either one but, I like the law. We need tougher judges to interpret and enforce the laws.
  • Kern john Kills 2012/04/14 04:33:27
    Kern
    I could care less about people wanting to carry a gun. I find that most people who carry a gun leagally are the people who are the least likely to use it. I also think our gun laws have been soften way too much. Letting people carry guns into bars and at school are bad descions. The fear mongering of people getting their guns taken away is rediculous. I would love to see one law the has been passed in the last 10 or 20 years that has been passed that restricts gun laws. I know a few have been tried but not on a national level.

    I think these stand your ground laws are not needed. If someone breaks into your hosue, sure you have a right to protect yourself. But, situation like one listed or the case where the guy went outside to shoot two kids robbing his neighbor's house are misuses of the law. If you have to pursue someone, you are not standing your ground.
  • john Kills Kern 2012/04/14 14:49:19
    john Kills
    +1
    We agree for the most part. Before the castle doctrine/stand your ground laws was passed we had a duty to retreat even in our own homes. The only way you could shoot someone, even an armed someone in your own home was to prove you could not retreat any further. If you just shot an armed intruder, you would go to jail and that is wrong. The stand your ground law eliminated the duty to retreat. I agree 100 percent in that if you pursue someone and shoot them then you are guilty of murder. Here is the issue with leaving your property. Let's say you and I have been neighbors for 20 years and I know you to be a law abiding citizen who works to better yourself and the community. If I look out my window and see you being robbed ( you, not your property ) and gun or knife point, the stand your ground law allows me to come to your defense to protect "your" safety. In West Virginia I would have to prove that I was protecting you and that "we" were not involved in illegal activities. We would both be investigated even if the robber has an arrest record dating back for 15 years. I don't believe in restrictions for law abiding people who go through the proper training and pays the required fees and passes the background checks. If someone is of crimminal intent they won't go through all th...
    We agree for the most part. Before the castle doctrine/stand your ground laws was passed we had a duty to retreat even in our own homes. The only way you could shoot someone, even an armed someone in your own home was to prove you could not retreat any further. If you just shot an armed intruder, you would go to jail and that is wrong. The stand your ground law eliminated the duty to retreat. I agree 100 percent in that if you pursue someone and shoot them then you are guilty of murder. Here is the issue with leaving your property. Let's say you and I have been neighbors for 20 years and I know you to be a law abiding citizen who works to better yourself and the community. If I look out my window and see you being robbed ( you, not your property ) and gun or knife point, the stand your ground law allows me to come to your defense to protect "your" safety. In West Virginia I would have to prove that I was protecting you and that "we" were not involved in illegal activities. We would both be investigated even if the robber has an arrest record dating back for 15 years. I don't believe in restrictions for law abiding people who go through the proper training and pays the required fees and passes the background checks. If someone is of crimminal intent they won't go through all that as it is time consuming and expensive. Plus, even if you have a permit you will be treated as a crimminal until you have proven that your actions were justified and legal. Most states have restrictions for carrying anywhere on school, state, federal, buildings and properties. Most states will not allow you to carry into any establishment that serve alcohol, even eating establishments. Some will allow you to enter those places as long as you don't drink or sit at the bar. WV does not restrict the carrying of guns into bars and I'm not aware that has caused any problems. Of course WV is a low crime state and anyone who would drink and shoot someone out of anger isn't the kind of person who would have a ccw anyway. I personally do not mind legal carry into schools,church, state or federal building. As long as the person has the required license, I think they should be allowed to carry anyplace they are allowed to be. I have nothing to fear from law abiding people being anywhere.
    (more)
  • Kern john Kills 2012/04/14 16:02:26
    Kern
    I don't think you should be able to carry a gun into a federal building becasue politics tends to bring out emotions that would otherwise be surpressed. Look at how toxic our political system is today. I can see some person who is so distraught over a law that was passed they feel the need to make a change, and that change, in their mind, is brought about by elminated the person they deam responsible, for example a House or Senate memeber.

    There is no need to have a gun on your everywhere you go, but that's the liberal in me coming out. I don't care for guns, don't want any, and really don't see the need. But, I also don't beleive that just because I don't like them I should force my beliefs onto others. I'm not going to lobby to take guns away but I will lobby to restrict where they can be taken. There's not need to carry a gun into a college. There's no need to carry a gun into a resturant, but, like I said before, it's the liberal in my coming.

    You're right, for the most part, we agree.
  • john Kills Kern 2012/04/14 16:38:51
    john Kills
    +1
    I am trying to remember the woman's name who testified before congress. She was in a restaurant with her parents. She did carry a gun but the law prohibited her from carrying her gun into the restaurant because it served alcohol so she left her gun in the car outside. A madman with a gun came in and murdered a bunch of people including her parents. She said when the shooting started she would have been able to stop the senseless killing as the shooter was standing very close to her but not looking at her. Because she obeyed the law both of her parents died along with many others. There are some crazy people in this world and we never know when we might run into one through no fault of our own. I truly hope you never need a gun and that your life is peaceful and no harm comes to you. I killed a man who had a gun in my own home. I am a grandfather who lives a quiet life and bothers nobody. I sure did not invite an armed man to break into my home but it happened. This guy that I killed had been arrested on over 50 occasions, some of them were violent crimes. If we knew when we were getting into bad situations, we would avoid them and never get into the situations. I respect your feelings about guns and thank you for respecting my position. If we met you would never know I have a ...
    I am trying to remember the woman's name who testified before congress. She was in a restaurant with her parents. She did carry a gun but the law prohibited her from carrying her gun into the restaurant because it served alcohol so she left her gun in the car outside. A madman with a gun came in and murdered a bunch of people including her parents. She said when the shooting started she would have been able to stop the senseless killing as the shooter was standing very close to her but not looking at her. Because she obeyed the law both of her parents died along with many others. There are some crazy people in this world and we never know when we might run into one through no fault of our own. I truly hope you never need a gun and that your life is peaceful and no harm comes to you. I killed a man who had a gun in my own home. I am a grandfather who lives a quiet life and bothers nobody. I sure did not invite an armed man to break into my home but it happened. This guy that I killed had been arrested on over 50 occasions, some of them were violent crimes. If we knew when we were getting into bad situations, we would avoid them and never get into the situations. I respect your feelings about guns and thank you for respecting my position. If we met you would never know I have a gun on my person and even though I always have a gun where law allows I act as though I am totally defenseless. I don't want trouble but, I will protect myself with my gun if I can't run away or avoid violence by other means.
    (more)
  • Kern john Kills 2012/04/14 20:42:32
    Kern
    +1
    You are the kind of people that should be allowed to carry a gun.

    I'm really sorry you had to kill someone to protect your home. The obvious answer from my side is, if we took guns away from everyone, we wouldn't have this problem. That is an unrealistic position to take in this country.

    I grew up on the South side of Chicago and in some really bad neighborhoods. When I was younger we would hear about a shooting and go to the spot to see if we could find the pool of dried blood. I've had gang bangers point a gun at my head a few times. I've never thought that I needed to get a gun to protect myself. I think it's more because I still believe I can avoid most trouble. I've never been in a situation that you were in. When the gang bangers pulled a gun on me it was because of an argument when they were drinking. Lucky for me their friends where there to talk them down.

    I think that we are loosening the gun laws to a dangerous point. I don't want to live a society where everyone is carrying a gun. Guns are too dangerous and too many people are too careless with them. On the other hand I don't want to take them away from people, not because of the 2nd amendment but because at this point, I think most people who are gun owners are petty careful.

    My brother is an alcoholic who loves gu...

    You are the kind of people that should be allowed to carry a gun.

    I'm really sorry you had to kill someone to protect your home. The obvious answer from my side is, if we took guns away from everyone, we wouldn't have this problem. That is an unrealistic position to take in this country.

    I grew up on the South side of Chicago and in some really bad neighborhoods. When I was younger we would hear about a shooting and go to the spot to see if we could find the pool of dried blood. I've had gang bangers point a gun at my head a few times. I've never thought that I needed to get a gun to protect myself. I think it's more because I still believe I can avoid most trouble. I've never been in a situation that you were in. When the gang bangers pulled a gun on me it was because of an argument when they were drinking. Lucky for me their friends where there to talk them down.

    I think that we are loosening the gun laws to a dangerous point. I don't want to live a society where everyone is carrying a gun. Guns are too dangerous and too many people are too careless with them. On the other hand I don't want to take them away from people, not because of the 2nd amendment but because at this point, I think most people who are gun owners are petty careful.

    My brother is an alcoholic who loves guns. I still trust him with guns because he's so careful with them. Before his son was allowed to shoot he had to understand how to break down the gun, put it back together and understand that they are never stored loaded.

    It good to meet a gun owner who is responsible and educated. I would let you take a gun anywhere.
    (more)
  • john Kills Kern 2012/04/15 02:37:39
    john Kills
    +1
    Thank you sir. I really appreciate that knowing your feelings on the subject. I would like to live in a world where I would never feel I might need a gun for protection. I do like shooting guns at the range with my son and daughter and my granddaughter will soon be old enough to start if she wants to. We also like to hunt so, guns are a big part in activities we like. We have recently bought slingshots and a bunch of marbles. We have competitions in the back yard. I am recovery from a shoulder surgery so my family is getting much better than I. It's nice that people who have different political views can discuss an issue without the usual name calling. It's been a pleasure talking to you and look forward to more intelligent exchanges with you on other subjects.
  • Kern john Kills 2012/04/15 02:58:58
    Kern
    I'm going to give you some advice if we ever meet and I have gun in my hand. The safest place to be when I have a gun is directly infront of me. I went to a shooting range once and found out that I could be the worst shot on the planet. After missing the target several times with a .38 hand gun. I gave it up to friend of mine so he coudl try. There were 4 of us shooting, 3 of us for the fist time.

    A few minutes later we started to hear this very loud boom, boom, boom.
    We went over to investigate. We found a guy teaching his 13 year old daughter how to shot a .45. She was really good.

    A friend of mine asked if he could try the gun. The guy obliged him. He fired the gun and the kick back was so strong he almost clocked himself in the head. This guy was pretty big and very strong. He panicked and grabbed the barrel of the gun and went to aim. Luckily the guy who was teaching his daughter to shoot stepped and told him not to grab the barrel. Well a few shots later he gave up. He couldn't control the gun.

    He handed the gun back to the 13 year old girl who effortlessly started to shot and hit the target.

    The moral of the story I took away from the incident is, A man has to know his limitation.

    :~)
  • john Kills Kern 2012/04/15 04:31:26 (edited)
    john Kills
    I never liked pistols at all. When I decided to get one for concealed carry I found out that I couldn't shoot the thing at all. This amazed me as I am very good with a rifle. I quickly learned that it takes a lot of time and practice to shoot a pistol well. I practice a lot and now I am confident in my abilities. It's so important to practice regularly if your going to carry a pistol. I can't imagine shooting an innocent person because I didn't have the skill to put the bullet where it needed to go. I know there are many people who do not practice and that is a concern to me. You know I am a supporter of concealed carry and stand your ground laws but, I would not object to us having to qualify by demonstrating familiarity and proficiency with our firearms on an annual basis in order to have the ability to carry.
    I am sure you would like shooting if you got in to it. Nobody enjoys doing something their not good at. Find a place where you can shoot in privacy so you aren't self conscious. Start with a little .22. It's cheap to shoot so you can shoot a lot without spending a bunch of money. You may enjoy shooting a rifle more. A rifle is easier to learn with.
    It's a bunch of fun hitting a can around on the ground. Get someone who can shoot well to shoot it first to make sure t...
    I never liked pistols at all. When I decided to get one for concealed carry I found out that I couldn't shoot the thing at all. This amazed me as I am very good with a rifle. I quickly learned that it takes a lot of time and practice to shoot a pistol well. I practice a lot and now I am confident in my abilities. It's so important to practice regularly if your going to carry a pistol. I can't imagine shooting an innocent person because I didn't have the skill to put the bullet where it needed to go. I know there are many people who do not practice and that is a concern to me. You know I am a supporter of concealed carry and stand your ground laws but, I would not object to us having to qualify by demonstrating familiarity and proficiency with our firearms on an annual basis in order to have the ability to carry.
    I am sure you would like shooting if you got in to it. Nobody enjoys doing something their not good at. Find a place where you can shoot in privacy so you aren't self conscious. Start with a little .22. It's cheap to shoot so you can shoot a lot without spending a bunch of money. You may enjoy shooting a rifle more. A rifle is easier to learn with.
    It's a bunch of fun hitting a can around on the ground. Get someone who can shoot well to shoot it first to make sure the sights are on target. Nothing more aggravating than trying to shoot something with a gun that doesn't shoot where it's aimed. Get your brother to work with you. Most important is to remember you there to have fun. In no time at all you will be shooting at smaller targets or moving the targets further away from you to increase the challenge as your skill improves. Some people cringe when I say shooting is a great family activity but, it really is. My wife, both of our grown children have spent 100's of hours shooting .22 rifles and now we shoot pistols to increase our abilities and also add to the challenge. Ranges are also a good place because you can go and not be around people acting foolish or using foul language. I have never been to a range and witness poor behavior. I believe this would be your experience too.
    (more)
  • Kern john Kills 2012/04/15 05:30:23
    Kern
    You're correct in saying that I have never experience poor behavior at a shooting range, both times I went.

    When I visit my brother in Tennassee we sho0t .22 rifles in his backyard. He live in middle of nowhere so it's save. He's very safe with his guns. I'm on good with a rifle if I can rest it on something. I'm not that good of a shot with a rifle either but then like you said, I don't practice at all.

    I've tried shooting enough to know that I would never be an enthusianst. But, that's no reason for me to take guns away from people like you who enjoy.

    I practice Jiu Jitsu and only had to use it once. For the most part, I don't run into trouble. I do live in a part of Colorado that is pretty libreral so I don't see too many people with guns.
  • john Kills Kern 2012/04/15 06:02:49
    john Kills
    +1
    Jiu jitsu is a tough sport. I would love to take the training if I had time. It would be a great way to stay in shape and get bent into some other shapes. The surgeon told me I need more exercise. I used to be a power lifter. I have retained much of my strength but the muscle will remain strong if you lift long enough to let the muscle mature. The tendons start losing their strength if your not active. I was loading firewood and was wrestling a large piece and severely tore my rotator cuff. It took 5 anchors to repair. I will start therapy next week. I am going to start getting back in shape. We have a jiu jitsu / boxing gym close by so I may give that a try.
  • Kern john Kills 2012/04/15 06:26:12
    Kern
    I'm 50 and started when I 45. I never train more two days in a row. I used to but now it's just too hard. There is a 70 year old expower lifter who pretty hard to handle. When I feel like I'm getting too old for the sport I just look at that guy.

    We get some of the UFC guys in our gym every now and then. They are really nice guys but I wouldn't fight them unless I had you by my side to shoot them, because as you already know, I'm terrible shot. Just kidding. They're all nice guys.

    I used to life a lot when a friend of mine owned a personal training gym. All of his friends had keys so we would work out when it was empty. I was never really strong but I learned then that lifting is very improtant. I ran cross country in college so I was alway petty skinny. After lifing for a few years I learned how important it is. You power lifing guys are a tough bread. An ex boss of mine set the bench press record for men over 40 in colorado. He put 417. I couldn't imagine being that strong.

    I hope you shoulder heals quickly. Two friends of mine blew out their shoulders in their lat 30's when we were all lifting heavy. That's a painful process. I feel for you my friend.
  • ὤTṻnde΄ӂ 2012/04/14 01:37:10
    Stand you ground laws are ruining this county
    ὤTṻnde΄ӂ
    +1
    All those laws are doing are making murdering someone you don't like legal.
  • Kern ὤTṻnde΄ӂ 2012/04/14 01:40:57
    Kern
    +1
    I agree. It also make almost any crime punishable by death. You steal a car radio and you can get killed. You walk on someone's lawn and you get killed. You get into an argument and you get killed.
  • ὤTṻnde΄ӂ Kern 2012/04/14 01:50:45
    ὤTṻnde΄ӂ
    +1
    Exactly. I do believe someone has a right to defend their life (not their property.) If someone is trying to break into your house when you're home and you feel threatened. If you are being carjacked and you fear for your life, that's standing your ground. What I don't believe in is the guy who sees two guys coming out of his neighbor's home with property (homeowners not home) walks outside after 911 warned him not to go outside. He went outside anway and yelled at the two burglars and said, "You're dead." Then he shot them dead. The guy was not charged because of "Stand Your Ground."
  • Kern ὤTṻnde΄ӂ 2012/04/14 01:54:13
    Kern
    +1
    I agree.
  • john Kills ὤTṻnde΄ӂ 2012/04/14 02:59:54
    john Kills
    +1
    Exactly right. Stand your ground laws are for people who are put in danger by the actions of others. That is the way the laws are written. Perhaps they need to rewrite the law to clarify. You can not go after someone and then say you were standing your ground.
    I have only one point of disagreement with you and the way you worded it I'm not sure we disagree. If you have a garage or out build on "YOUR" property and you see someone in it, I do believe you have the right to go out and tell them to get out. If you get threatened at that time I feel as a last resort you are allowed to use appropriate force. Going after someone is never a stand your ground defense. In WV, we are also allowed to use our firearms to stop a felony. If I get off work and stop by a store and there is an armed robbery in process, I can use my gun to stop the robber. I cannot shoot him unless he turns towards me or I believe he is or has shot someone. I know of no cases where that has happened and I would never go into a store to stop a robbery. The only way I would get involved is if I walked into the situation unknowingly.
  • ὤTṻnde΄ӂ john Kills 2012/04/14 03:26:03
    ὤTṻnde΄ӂ
    +1
    We don't disagree. If you feel your life is in danger anywhere on your property, you should be able to protect your life.
  • lonewolf 2012/04/14 01:32:46
    Stand your ground laws will eventually cut down crime
    lonewolf
    +2
    you need to stand your ground. too many f***king punk asses running our streets and people are tired of it. so they do what needs to be done
  • Kern lonewolf 2012/04/14 01:36:29
    Kern
    +1
    Does stand your ground also include chasing someone down?

    While I cannot understand why the judge let this guy off, I am also lost on why this guy wasn't charged with selling stolen goods.
  • lonewolf Kern 2012/04/14 01:38:50
    lonewolf
    chasing down yes if he was doing something wrong.
  • john Kills Kern 2012/04/14 03:05:49
    john Kills
    No it doesn't. Chasing someone down and putting yourself in a hostile situation is not standing your ground.
  • Primiti... Kern 2012/04/14 03:10:50
    Primitive Christian
    While that is a different set of laws the answer is yes in most States an individual can chase someone down who has stolen their property in an attempt to retrieve the property or to affect an arrest. (contrary to popular belief there is a legal right to citizens arrest.) The reason the guy was "let off" is because the killing occurred while he was defending himself. A bag of car radio's certainly can be considered a deadly weapon and he used deadly force against deadly force. This was a tragic loss of life that would not have occurred had the theif not stolen the man's car radio.

    Now these would not be my actions, I would not endanger my life, the lives of bystanders or even the theif's life for any property, but the legal finding by the judge isn't hard to understand.

    I do however agree with you that the man should have been charged with selling stolen property and possibly some charges associated with not reporting the incident.

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