By: Mike Vasilinda
June 10, 2013
The trial of a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford will be a test of the states “Stand Your Ground” law. The law allows people in fear of their lives to use deadly force. Despite efforts to repeal the controversial law, state lawmakers said no.
Following the death of Trayvon Martin, Governor Rick Scott’s appointed task force held seven hearing across the state listening to citizens on Stand Your Ground.
The Black Caucus, which wanted the law repealed, called the effort worthless. “I want to emphasize the word task, as if they had a job to do. And they failed their job.”, said Sen.Dwight Bullard, D-Miami, in January 16, 2013.
Legislation to repeal Stand Your Ground was filed in January and was accompanied by an emotional plea from Trayvon Martin’s mother. “I wouldn’t want you to stand in my shoes,” said Sabrina Fulton.
More than 11,000 people wrote, called or emailed the Governor. By a more than two to one margin they wanted changes in Stand Your Ground. But as the final gavel fell on the legislative session, the repeal never got a hearing. The NRA says the lack of action speaks for itself. “And the conclusion was there is nothing wrong with the legislation,” says Marion Hammer, Unified Sportsmen of Florida.
The NAACP, which says it supports the Second Amendment, believes Trayvon Martin was not a sympathetic enough victim to energize legislative action. “There has to be someone of prominence that has to die. And once they do then you get an uproar,” says Daryl Landry, NAACP.
Neither the lawmakers or Zimmerman jury may have the final word on Stand Your Ground.
If the jury doesn’t buy Zimmerman’s story about standing his ground and he’s convicted the Stand Your Ground Case will likely end here in Florida Supreme Court.