With yesterday’s mur­der charges brought against George Zim­mer­man, and the killing spree in Tulsa still rel­a­tively fresh, I thought it worth­while to exam­ine the star­tling par­al­lels between the two.

Of course, in both we have Cau­casians shoot­ing and killing African-​​Americans. And it appears that we’ll have mur­der charges in both. But there’s some­thing else the two have in common.

The “stand your ground” laws.

We have here the San­ford and Son cases. Trayvon Mar­tin was killed in San­ford, Florida. Jake Eng­land is the Son; his father, Carl Eng­land, was killed two years to the day before his killing spree.

Carl’s killer, Per­nell Jef­fer­son, claimed jus­ti­fi­able homi­cide under Oklahoma’s 2006 “stand your ground” law, which has very sim­i­lar lan­guage to the Florida ver­sion. He was granted immu­nity and served no time for the killing, though he was charged with attempted first-​​degree bur­glary and pos­ses­sion of a firearm after a pre­vi­ous felony conviction.

Carl had gone to the apart­ment of his daugh­ter, Carly Eng­land, and her boyfriend, Damien Neal, at Carly’s request. Accord­ing to Neal’s court­room tes­ti­mony, Jef­fer­son had come to the apart­ment ask­ing for mar­i­juana, but Neal told him (through the closed screen door) that they didn’t have any. Carly then told Neal that she didn’t know who Jef­fer­son was, at which point Neal told Jef­fer­son to leave.

Neal fur­ther tes­ti­fied that Jef­fer­son then forced the screen door open, and the two started shout­ing at each other. Neal then grabbed a base­ball bat and hit Jef­fer­son with it. Jef­fer­son left, say­ing that he’d be back with “some­thing for you.” When he returned less than a minute later, he started kick­ing on the rear door of the apart­ment. Carly called her father and asked him to come over and help.

Carl arrived with Jake. Jake stayed out­side in the front, while Carl entered the apart­ment from the front. At the same time, Jef­fer­son kicked in the back door. Carl attempted to talk to Jef­fer­son, but Jef­fer­son kept com­ing toward him. Carl then hit Jef­fer­son over the head with a wheel­bar­row han­dle. He attempted to hit Jef­fer­son one more time, but before he could, Jef­fer­son pulled his pis­tol and shot Carl in the chest.

Jake didn’t wit­ness the fatal shot, but he heard it. And he got to watch his father die on the floor of his sister’s apartment.

The Tulsa County Dis­trict Attorney’s Office con­cluded that Carl England’s death was a jus­ti­fi­able homicide.

I know I said it before, but it bears repeat­ing: if these sorts of cases are con­sid­ered “jus­ti­fi­able homi­cide”, then the “stand your ground” laws are seri­ously flawed. I can only imag­ine how ter­ri­ble it is to lose one’s par­ent to the angry shot of a gun. In Jake’s case, he never even got the clo­sure of jus­tice for his father’s murder.

If he had, there might well be three more inno­cent peo­ple alive today in Tulsa.