Veteran with no Record Gets 25-Years for Standing His Ground: Was the shooting justified?
In the media, Stand Your Ground laws have often been defended in cases where a white man kills a black youth. But these same “protective” laws don’t always seem to protect or support African Americans who are on the other side of the equation. Numerous instances of black men firing at another person in self-defense have led to long prison sentences for those who’ve been charged.
The case of Michael Giles is gaining increased attention worldwide after the serviceman was incarcerated with a 25 year sentence for a shooting in Florida, the same state where the cases of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis took place. Giles shot someone in the leg outside a nightclub after a fight, but his family says that he only did so because he had to.
Even the judge in the case said that he couldn’t do anything other than give Giles a long prison sentence, and the 26-year old father of three was told he would spend the rest of his young adult years behind bars.
According to All Voices News, Giles was a perfect soldier during his stint in the military. He did two tours in the Middle East and was planning to spend the rest of his life in the military. He also had no criminal record whatsoever. The fight that occurred in the club was allegedly between members of different fraternities, with 30 – 40 men getting into the altercation.
Giles says that he went to his car to get the gun after being separated from his friends. He says that he was attacked after trying to find his friends and shot a man in the leg as a result. He had a concealed carry permit for the gun. The man he shot, Courtney Thrower, says he was looking for anyone to punch at the time.
Prosecutors say that a gun is not the right way to respond to a sucker punch. But Giles’ supporters say that this case is not much different from that of George Zimmerman or Michael Dunn, both of whom were acquitted after using deadly force against another unarmed person.
Assistant State Attorney Jack Campbell stated, “The evidence is clear here that the act of pointing a gun into a group of people, even if you’re not specifically deciding to kill them, is a crime. There is no self-defense that is applicable based on the evidence that’s before the jury.”
What do you think? Was deadly force justified? The case is getting attention across the nation, with Giles gaining lots of support in his appeal for a commutation. A petition filed on Change.org has gotten nearly 100,000 signatures at the time of this writing and is growing every day.
Feel free to weigh in your thoughts.