Florida Task Force on Self-Defense Laws to Meet Tuesday

State's Stand Your Ground law to be examined by task force

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Grace Miranda and other supporters of Trayvon Martin gather for a rally in front of Florida Senator Marco Rubio's (R-FL) office to ask him to retract his support for Florida's so called 'Stand Your Ground' gun law following the Trayvon Martin killing.

    The Florida task force formed to examine the state's Stand Your Ground law in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting will be meeting for the first time Tuesday in Tallahassee.

    The first meeting of the Task Force on Citizen Safety and Protection, formed by Gov. Rick Scott, is expected to cover housekeeping matters.

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    Gov. Rick Scott announced a task force to review Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law on Thursday, April 19. Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll, who is leading the review, voted for the law when she was in the House. Asked if she regretted that, she replied, "We'll find out."

    Scott said he has no "preconceived notions" on what the task force will recommend but he wants it to look at the Florida law that allows citizens to defend themselves with deadly force.

    The 19-member review team will spend the rest of the year investigating self-defense cases.
     
    Martin was shot by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who maintains he acted in self-defense. Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder following weeks of protests.
     
    Some have questioned the make-up of the task force and whether it will recommend substantive changes.

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    State Senator Gwen Margolis on Tuesday said she wants the "Stand Your Ground" law repealed or modified, even though she voted for it in 2005 after Trayvon Martin's death.

    On Monday, Sen. Chris Smith, who formed his own task force to look into the law, released recommendations to make changes to Stand Your Ground.

    Smith's recommendations included presenting cases to a Grand Jury, educating the public and law enforcement about the law, creating a system to track self-defense claims in the state and allow detaining.

    Stand Your Ground Is "Self-Defense on Steroids": Lawyer

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    Florida's controversial "stand your ground" law allows an individual to use deadly force before having to retreat if they believe they are being threatened. Those advocating for George Zimmerman's arrest for shooting Trayvon Martin say he has no right to claim self-defense because he admitted to following the teen during a 911 call. Criminal defense attorney Jonathan Meltz argued the statute can be used as a defense. He compared the stand your ground statute to "self-defense on steroids." Meltz was part of the first case involving the statute when 9-year-old Sherdavia Jenkins was murdered by his client?s stray bullet in 2006.