The Bangor Daily News article, “Polls show racial divide,” printed in the Sun Journal July 23, contains at least two flat-out factual errors, that a responsible publication ought to correct.
The first states that people gathered to “call for an end to the so-called stand-your-ground laws that the teenager’s shooter used in his defense.” The fact is that stand-your-ground, so-called or not, played no part — none — in George Zimmerman’s defense. The defense he pursued was standard self-defense, a concept that is valid not only in Florida but also in every other state, including Maine.
The second misstatement in the article is: “Zimmerman was found not guilty in the case, in part because of Florida’s stand-your-ground law ...” Again, that would be correct only if stand-your-ground had been in the case — which it was not.
Zimmerman was found not guilty because the jury found that his use of deadly force was justified under the facts and circumstances of the case. Stated more precisely, the prosecution did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that his use of deadly force was not justified.
There may or may not be a good case against stand-your-ground laws, but the Trayvon Martin case has nothing to do with that issue — except in the minds of people who have an agenda to advance, and who are willing to distort the truth to advance it.
Thomas L. Goodwin, Lewiston