April 12, 2012 11:36AM

Why Is Press Coverage of the Martin/​Zimmerman Case So Bad?

In addition to my two earlier posts in this space on Stand Your Ground (SYG) laws, which I recommend reading in conjunction with Tim Lynch’s three recent posts, I’ve been doing a lot of writing on SYG and other issues in the Trayvon Martin/​George Zimmerman case. Here are some links:

  • I wrote an op‐​ed for the Daily Caller on how the Washington Post, on both its editorial and reporting side, has been advancing misconceptions about SYG laws, especially about the purported increase in uses of deadly force in self‐​defense. More on “justifiable homicide” statistics here.
  • At Overlawyered, I try to answer Ann Althouse’s question as to why there was such a rush in many quarters to pile on the SYG law as the supposed culprit. My answer: “because many people yearn for ways to blame their ideological opponents when something awful happens.”
  • I also have a post about how, while there are many to blame for sensationalized, inflammatory, and racially oriented coverage of a case like this, the lawyers tend to set the tone. And I note that with an impending civil suit by the Martin family, the former “self‐​appointed vigilante” is now due to reappear as “designated agent of the homeowners’ association.”
  • For more background on the (non-)applicability of SYG to the case, I did a nine‐​minute video interview with Lee Pacchia at Bloomberg Law on the subject, which aired on Monday, following my Cato Daily audio podcast. And don’t miss this Reuters analysis on how SYG plays out in actual Florida courtrooms (“winning immunity could be quite difficult… [J]udges have granted immunity just nine times since 2005.”)