This is just fascinating. Apparently George Zimmerman may not have done anything illegal at all, because it's perfectly legal to murder people in Florida if you claim self-defense.

Or a little more specifically, if you claim self-defense in Florida (at least in their fifth district; I'm not sure how much more broadly this ruling has been applied) the burden of proof is on the state to show that it was not justified. Claims of self-defense are presumptively true.

This is just a brilliant move on Florida's part. Consider all of the possibilities for murder tourism; apparently, all you have to do is say "Oh my God! He's coming right for us!" before you fire.
Discussing the Trayvon Martin case earlier today, I stumbled on a horrifying fact about Florida law: when self-defense is alleged, the state bears the burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the homicide was unjustified. In other words, in Florida, homicide is legal as a general matter, except in cases where the victim can be proven not to have deserved it.

By comparison, in every other state I'm aware of, a person who commits a homicide and claims that it was justified bears the burden of proving, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the killing was justified.
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