T Nation

Stand Your Ground Law



A 15-year-old who fatally stabbed his school mate will no longer face criminal prosecution.

A judge�¢??s ruling, made public Tuesday, granted a motion to dismiss the second-degree murder charge against Jorge Saavedra in the death of 16-year-old Dylan Nuno on the grounds that he acted in self-defense under Florida�¢??s �¢??Stand Your Ground�¢?? law. The State Attorney�¢??s Office has indicated that it will not appeal the ruling.

Nuno�¢??s family and friends criticized Collier County Circuit Judge Lauren Brodie�¢??s decision, calling it �¢??unbelievable�¢?? and �¢??heartbreaking.�¢??

�¢??We know this wasn�¢??t the right decision,�¢?? said Dylan�¢??s aunt, Adriana Nuno.�¢??(The judge) is showing those kids it�¢??s OK to get away with murder.�¢??

Saavedra, who was 14 at the time of the stabbing, was charged as a juvenile. If found guilty, the former Palmetto Ridge High student would have been released by the age of 21.

Brodie�¢??s ruling concluded that Saavadra, who said he was bullied and tried avoid a fight with Nuno, did not act unlawfully. She added that Saavadra had more than enough reason to believe he was in danger of death or great bodily harm.

What do you guys think?


I posted this on my FB page. Just guessing, but a precedence may have been set with this. I think Jorge got very emotional in defending himself and lost control. However, he was 14 at the time, and the bullying was done over a longer period of time. Not guilty.


On the most basic human level, I'd say I'm glad the kid wasn't charged (kinda hard to feel any great sympathy for a bully who finally got his/her comuppance).

However, it seems on both sides of the pond now we are effectively creating an increasingly conflated distinction between what constitutes self-defence & (effectively) acts of retribution. The former is easy to defend legally, the latter is wandering into the realm of legally endorsing an 'eye for an eye' or even two eyes for one mere POKE in the eye.


Did that judge really just legalize killing a bully? Why did the younger kid have good reason to fear for his life? This seems like some seriously flawed logic.


After reading the facts, I like the decision.

You are under no legal obligation to take a beating.

The kid was younger (freshman v. junior - BIG age difference).

He attempted to avoid the fight (got off several stops earlier).

He was struck in the back of the head (he has no legal obligation to be struck AT ALL).

He still tried to get away (no legal obligation to do so and he therefore did "retreat" but was not required to do so under the law).

It's truly tragic a young man who could not have foreseen this result (both of them actually) and does not have the maturity to make good decisions lost his life over this. No one wins here. It's a tragedy.

However, the deceased's family said:

?We know this wasn?t the right decision,? said Dylan?s aunt, Adriana Nuno.?(The judge) is showing those kids it?s OK to get away with murder.?

And in reply, I say...

The judge is showing those kids its not okay to assault someone. The judge is showing those kids that deadly consequences can result. And what that family is missing (of course) is that those two boys could have easily traded places that day and the other kid could have died from a blow to the head.

A mutual fight is one thing. Those happen and it's part of growing up a boy. But by no means do you have to suffer an attack and potential injury if you're not a willing participant.

The judge absolutely got this (difficult) decision right. There is really no debate.


You do not have to solely "fear for your life"; you can reasonably fear serious injury. Serious injury is not an unreasonable fear coming from an (for instance) older assailant. It's case specific, but I think this FRESHMAN teenager had every reason to fear injury from his assailant.

Do you think the fear of injury was unreasonable?

The judge didn't legalize killing a bully. He ruled that defending yourself (up to and including deadly force) against serious injury is legal and that the kid had a reasonable belief of serious injury or death. That's the law of the land, with permutations thereof from State to State.


chuck norris would approve.


If the kid tried to get away, it has nothing to do with the "stand your ground" law, it's just self defense.

I do agree with stand your ground laws though, you have no duty, as a free American, to flee a place you have the right to be in.

The kid has the right to do what he has to, to his attacker(s), in order to prevent any serious harm from coming to himself.

In Tennessee you can even shoot an unarmed man in the back if he broke into your house.


Correct. This kid fled, was pursued, was attacked, and cornered.

The bully got what he deserved.

The only thing left is to disbar the prosecutor who brought this absurd case.






I agree.

I had a ex co worker who was outside of a bar and was sucker punched for no reason. He was knocked out cold and ended up having severe brain damage from a one punch KO from someone behind him who was just trying to be a bad ass I guess.

Same thing could have happened to this kid. One punch could have sent this kid crumbling to the ground and who knows what could happen at that point?

The lesson taken away from this ruling should be "Don't be a bully" not "its ok to kill someone who bullies you."


If someone attacks you, they are risking their own life. Keeping them alive is not your responsibility, keeping yourself safe is. Besides, after being struck in the back of the head you aren't exactly thinking clearly and the more basic parts of are brains are still functioning on a "kill or be killed" level.

You don't know that they won't kill you (even accidentally) when they attack you. Good judgement as far as I'm concerned.


Good posts, BodyGuard. A buddy of mine brought this up, as well as the case of the young lady (18, home alone with baby after husband died of cancer) who shot to death the man who broke into her home, and I was trying to articulate my position and your posts really helped.


Ha! Indeed!


We agree about the outcome but realistically, how do you not bring this case and let a judge or grand jury decide? I'm assuming it was tracked right to a judge b/c it was a juvenile case but I think in the case of a death, the prosecutor really has to punt and let the system decide. Can you imagine if they bring no charges? The reaction from the family of the deceased not to mention those that just won't understand the law? I think a ruling needed to be made here and there is no reasonable way for a prosecutor NOT to charge. Not looking to derail the thread though...


I keep telling people; fighting is serious business.

Again, too bad a young man lost his life. But I think you're pretty "defective" if you go around attacking someone that has no intent to engage. It's a crime against the "tribe" of humanity.


Your right NOT to be attacked (and to defend yourself if you are) should be inalienable. This decision supports that basic right of humanity.


I hope that 10 years from now, this event gives my kids a better chance of not being bullies nor being victims. Of course I know that would be mostly on me.


Sadly, it won't change a thing. Mankind (men in particular) have been engaging in violence against other men since the first caveman. And it starts in childhood. The only thing we can do is that the enlightened among us enlighten our offspring and cross our fingers that they do no harm and that no harm comes their way. It's like-minded people, making a difference with their children and those they mentor that make a difference; not some ruling in FL (or any other State). Because tomorrow, some mis-guided, not-getting-enough-attention-jerk-off, is going to get off his bus or out of school tomorrow and fuck with some poor kid that wants no part of it.

The world can be a cruel place.