Early today Attorney General Eric Holder criticized the ‘stand your ground’ law of Florida — suggesting that it is somehow special or different from routine self defense. I just don’t think it is.
The A/G might want to take a look at the Federal law of self defense which I have studied today (along with other self defense instructions in other jurisdictions.)
There is no duty to retreat under Federal self defense law. You can stand your ground — as you can, as far as I can figure out, in self defense cases even when not expressly stated. You are allowed to defend yourself (if the person honestly and reasonably believes he is in apparent imminent danger that is life is about to be taken.) You are not required to run. You can defend yourself.
I recommend the A/G read Federal Jury instruction Section 8-8 which is the self defense instruction.
And frankly, besides the fact that the Zimmerman lawyers did not argue ‘stand your ground’ and rather just said Zimmerman acted in self defense (justifiable homicide), it is hard to retreat if someone is on top of you. The eye witness said that Trayvon Martin was on top of George Zimmerman.
Am I missing something?