Florida Man Who Shot 2 People to Death Gets Off Thanks to 'Stand Your Ground' Law

Stand Your Ground strikes again in Florida.  The notorious law that allows people accused of killing someone to argue that they “stood their ground” in the face of life-threatening circumstances has given a man accused of murder a chance at getting off scot-free.

As Think Progress’ Nicole Flatow notes, an appeals court in Florida made a ruling last week that could shield Gabriel Mobley from all the criminal and civil charges he faced for killing two people.

In 2008, Mobley was working at a Chili’s restaurant when two men approached Mobley’s co-workers.  Mobley’s friend asked the men to go, but Mobley tried to calm the situation down.  After the initial confrontation, Mobley became worried when the men banged on the window outside the Chili’s.  Mobley also said they were staring at him.

So Mobley left the restaurant to go to his car, where he picked up his gun.  He went to go smoke a cigarette, but one of the men who approached Mobley’s co-workers, Jason Jesus Gonzalez, punched a friend of Mobley’s.  Then Gonzales’ friend, Rolando Carrazana, approached, and Mobley saw him reach under his shirt.  Mobley thought a gun was about to come out.  Mobley fired his gun first, injuring the two men, both of whom died.  No guns were found, though there were knives on the ground.

Mobley was convicted of second-degree murder after a judge rejected his Stand Your Ground defense.  The judge said that he could not claim immunity under the law because he went to get his gun from his car and did not attempt to calm the situation down before firing.  

But last week, two judges overturned the conviction.  They argued that Mobley and his friend “had every right to be where they were, doing what they were doing and they did nothing to precipitate this violent attack.”

The case is likely headed to the Florida Supreme Court.  

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.