WUFT News

Citizen Safety Task Force supports ‘stand your ground’ law

By on February 23rd, 2013

The “stand your ground” law will not be overturned, but Gov. Rick Scott’s Citizen Safety Task Force made recommendations for change in a report released Friday.

The statute became controversial after it was used as a defense in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, an unarmed Florida teenager who was shot and killed last year. The task force said the law was “good” and should not be overturned.

Stacy Scott, a public defender for the Eighth Judicial Circuit and task force member said the task force worked hard to make a decision. The task force agreed that Florida residents have the right to feel safe and secure and can use force to defend themselves.

It took several hearings and a few months for the task force to make a decision. The report recommended the legislature clarify the term “unlawful activity” as it appears in the law. Scott said it was necessary in order to ensure a uniform application of the law across the state.

“It will be clearer to law enforcement and to prosecutors and to judges across the state,” Scott said.

Scott said fears that upholding the law would lead to police inability or failure to arrest suspects in cases where the stand your ground law is called as a defense were unfounded.

“The state attorney’s office in any given judicial circuit has the absolute authority to decide whether to prosecute a case or not,” Scott said.

Scott said the law shouldn’t be seen as a burden to law enforcement because it’s a part of their job.

“I believe that law enforcement should be conducting an investigation initially at looking at the suspect’s claims of self-defense,” Scott said. “People should not be arrested in a knee-jerk fashion just because there was some act of self-defense that resulted in harm to another person.”

After Martin’s death, groups of people traveled to Sanford to protest shooter George Zimmerman’s use of the stand your ground law. Across the nation, other groups gathered to protest, including a group led by civil rights activist  Rev. Milford Griner in Gainesville.

“My concern is that there will be times when the law will be misused by someone who is not really threatened and will use it as an excuse to inflict violence on someone else,” Griner said.

State Rep. Dennis Baxley, who wrote the law, said the Travyon Martin case helped the public become aware of it. “If anything good could come out of that tragic circumstance was a clearer understanding of what our self-defense law is and what it is not,” he said.


This entry was posted in Florida and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Florida

Tax Collection Agencies Expedite Concealed Weapon Permits

Concealed Weapon Intake System, a voluntary program offered by the government, allows individuals to apply for or renew a concealed weapon license. Adopted by Marion County in April, people who serve in the military are receiving permits in less than a month.


State Panel Prepares To Move Forward With Medical Pot

The panel responsible for selecting the five nurseries where the state’s first legal pot will be grown have been appointed by Florida health officials. There will be three members, the chief of the Office of Compassionate Use, an accountant and a member of Gov. Rick Scott’s Statewide Drug Advisory Policy Council. 


medicalmj

Medical Marijuana Supporters Renew Legalization Efforts With New Petition

Supporters of medical marijuana legalization went to court houses all over Florida on Friday in an effort to acquire the signatures needed to put the issue on the 2016 ballot. They need a total of 683,149 signatures, according to Ben Pollara, campaign manager for United for Care, an organization dedicated to legalizing medical marijuana.


Marion County Plane Crash

Two People Dead In Weirsdale Plane Crash

Two people are dead after a single-engine aircraft crashed in Weirsdale, Fla. today. Marion County officials conducted early investigations before handing over to the FAA and NTSB.


Jimmy Nelson, owner and host of television show Extreme Fishing Adventures, films for an episode in Key West, Fla., in January 2011. Nelson, 36-year-old Dunnellon resident, gave up real estate in 2008 to host his own fishing show.

Dunnellon Resident Hosts Fishing Television Show

Jimmy Nelson, a resident of Dunnellon, Florida, grew up with an affinity for water and fishing. After his job as a real estate agent was affected by the 2006 housing market decline, Nelson began his journey of turning his fishing hobby into a television career.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments