Florida lawmakers urge overhaul of 'Stand Your Ground' law

  1. ... "This bill actually encourages people to shoot their way out of situations and that's not how we live in a civilized society," Smith told a news conference. "It's a mentality that has permeated the state of Florida. It's a mentality of shoot first, and we should not have that in a civilized society."

    Smith was joined by Florida House Democratic leader Perry Thurston. Both called for a special session of the state's Republican-dominated legislature to overhaul the law or consider doing away with it.

    Unless Florida lawmakers act quickly, calls for a boycott of the state like the one voiced by Motown legend Stevie Wonder are likely to grow as part of a mounting backlash, they warned. Civil rights groups also are calling for changes in the law. ...

    ... Smith and Thurston were joined at their news conference by Broward County State Attorney Michael Satz, who said he and other law enforcement officials supported calls for an urgent overhaul of the Stand Your Ground law.
    "I think putting in the statute that you do not have the duty to retreat is a mistake. I think life is precious and before you do that you should do everything in your power not to do that and to retreat if you possibly can," Satz said.
    "Before there was a common law duty that you had to retreat before you used deadly force," he added. "I just don't think you need the Stand Your Ground statute." ...

  2. 39 Comments

  3. by   TopazLover
    Obama Calls For Review Of 'Stand Your Ground' Laws After Trayvon Martin Verdict

    WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama is calling for a review of the controversial "stand your ground" laws that were at the heart of the killing of Trayvon Martin.
    "I think it would be useful for us to examine some state and local laws to see if it -- if they are designed in such a way that they may encourage the kinds of altercations and confrontations and tragedies that we saw in the Florida case, rather than defuse potential altercations," Obama told reporters in a surprise press conference at the White House on Friday.

    Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) also announced on Friday that his Senate judiciary subcommittee will hold a hearing on such laws in September. It will delve into how these laws and racial profiling mix and the role of the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council in pushing these statutes nationwide. In May, the U.S. Civil Rights Commission voted to launch an investigation into whether "stand your ground" laws have a racial bias.
    A June 2012 study by the Tampa Bay Times found that in Florida, defendants who cited the Stand Your Ground law were more likely to prevail when the victim was black. Seventy-three percent of those who killed a black person walked away with no penalty, compared to 59 percent of those who killed a white victim.
  4. by   azhiker96
    Florida blacks benefit from Florida 'Stand Your Ground' | The Daily Caller

    Black Floridians have made about a third of the state’s total “Stand Your Ground” claims in homicide cases, a rate nearly double the black percentage of Florida’s population. The majority of those claims have been successful, a success rate that exceeds that for Florida whites.

    One hundred thirty three people in the state of Florida have used a “Stand Your Ground” defense. Of these claims, 73 were considered “justified” (55 percent), while 39 resulted in criminal convictions and 21 cases are still pending.
    Forty four African Americans in the state of Florida have claimed a “Stand Your Ground” defense. Of these claims, 24 were considered “justified” (55 percent), while 11 resulted in convictions and nine cases are still pending.
    Of the 76 white people who have used the defense, 40 were considered “justified” (less than 53 percent), while 25 were convicted and 11 cases are still pending.
    Ten Hispanics have used the defense, seven of them successfully, according to the database, which included George Zimmerman as a “Stand Your Ground” defendant.
  5. by   azhiker96
    Here is the story of Dr. Ossian Sweet who was found not guilty of murder when he shot into a mob that was stoning his house. The mob did not want a black family living in their neighborhood. The Castle Doctrine & Stand Your Ground – The Trial of Dr. Ossian Sweet | The Last Refuge

    Here's a look at self defense laws around the country. If a civil action is filed and GZ successfully argues his immunity under self defense, he would be awarded his legal costs. Self-Defense Immunity Laws | Some States Protect More
  6. by   herring_RN
    Outrage is Rising, in Florida and Nationally, Against "Stand Your Ground"

    July 17, 2013

    When Florida Circuit Court Judge Debra Nelson issued the jury instructions in the second-degree murder trial of George Zimmerman, those instructions declared that:
    "If George Zimmerman was not engaged in an unlawful activity and was attacked in any place where he had a right to be, he had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he reasonably believed that it was necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony."

    Though Zimmerman's lawyers chose to mount a traditional self-defense argument on their client's behalf--eschewing a defense specifically based on the controversial Florida law that permits individuals who feel threatened to use deadly force even when they could retreat to safety--the role played in the case by the "stand your ground" law, and the theory that underpins it, has come into stark relief in the days since Zimmerman was acquitted.

    The judge's instructions, and a juror's referencing of "stand your ground" in her discussion of the deliberations, serve to highlight long-term concerns about laws that permit the use of deadly force even when violence might be averted....

    Outrage is Rising, in Florida and Nationally, Against "Stand Your Ground" | Eye on ALEC, What Matters Today | BillMoyers.com
  7. by   herring_RN
  8. by   anothergrumpyoldRN
    I find it sad that there are people, outside of those who love George Zimmerman, who feel that he does not deserve punishment within our legal system for the killing of an unarmed teenager who had committed no crime.

    The fact that the courts in that state, in essence, said that he was within his rights to follow and then kill that young man without provocation (the young man did nothing to provoke the concern) does not mean that it is RIGHT morally, it means the laws are WRONG.

    We live in a civil society, there was nothing civil about what George Zimmerman is.
  9. by   anothergrumpyoldRN
    Last line should read..."there was nothing civil about what George Zimmerman DID".
  10. by   ArrowRN
    Just out of curiosity does anyone know how many States have this "Stand your ground law?" or similar?
  11. by   TopazLover
    Quote from man-nurse2b
    Just out of curiosity does anyone know how many States have this "Stand your ground law?" or similar?
    Florida had first Stand Your Ground law, other states followed in 'rapid succession' - U.S. News
    QUOTE=man-nurse2b;7441516]Just out of curiosity does anyone know how many States have this "Stand your ground law?" or similar?[/QUOTE]

    Florida had first Stand Your Ground law, other states followed in 'rapid succession' - U.S. News
    The states where 'Stand Your Ground' exists in some form or another are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...#ixzz2ZmdGroYR
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
    Last edit by TopazLover on Jul 22, '13 : Reason: another source
  12. by   ArrowRN
    gsss maybe I should get a license firearm. It's like the days of the Wild West...only its the Wild South.
  13. by   herring_RN
    ... When asked directly whether Arizona should review the law, McCain said: "Yes, I do." He then said he was "confident that the members of the Arizona legislature will, because it is very controversial legislation." Arizona is one of 30 states with laws that give individuals the right to use force in self-defense without an obligation of trying to retreat first.

    McCain also said that President Obama's highly personal speech on Friday about race relations was "very impressive." While the country has made progress on race relations, the Trayvon Martin case "highlighted the differences that remain," McCain added. ...


  14. by   herring_RN
    Gun makers, violent film and video creators benefit from tax breaks in Florida

    With Florida's tax code more business-friendly in recent years, economic incentives and tax breaks have flowed to companies and industries now under fire for their perceived roles in America's gun violence.
    Meanwhile, the state has cut funding for mental health care and school safety programs ...

    ... While it has become more difficult and expensive to access mental health care in Florida, it is getting easier and cheaper to obtain high-powered weapons. Last year, the Legislature cut the cost of obtaining a weapons license by $5, and a string of gun-friendly measures has boosted the number of concealed firearms carriers past 1 million. ...

    ... Nationally, Florida ranks 49th in mental health funding, and first in gun ownership.

    The state has been a trailblazer in providing lucrative tax incentives to a smorgasbord of companies in return for promises to create jobs.

    In 2012, a tough budget year when the Legislature cut funding for school safety by $1.8 million and Gov. Rick Scott vetoed $5.7 million for mental health programs, lawmakers were able to find more than $10 million for economic incentives that went to violent film productions, bloody video games and gun manufacturers. ...

    Gun makers, violent film and video creators benefit from tax breaks in Florida | Tampa Bay Times