Tallahassee, FL -- May 1, 2012 --
The panel began with a prayer. “Give us insight” says the Reverend RB Holmes.
And instructions from its chair, Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll. “This task force is not here to try the Zimmerman/Martin case,” admonished the Task Force Chairman.
The panel soon got bogged down in defining its mission, Officially named the Task Force on Citizen Safety and Protection, the man who sponsored Stand Your Ground felt like the law was being singled out.
“And lets not let this turn into a trial of 776. Lets let it be what it’s supposed to be, a review of citizen safety” said State Representative Dennis Baxley. But the law that delayed the arrest of a neighborhood watch volunteer more than a month is still the focus of the inquiry.
This task force will take its first public testimony at a meeting in June. And at the meeting, Florida’s Prosecuting Attorneys will tell them the law needs to be repealed.
A recommendations isn’t expected until early next year. That concerns State Senator Chris Smith, whose own task force has already recommended changes. We’re going into a summer when people are looking at the state of Florida and deciding, Do I go to Florida? do i go to Disney world? or do I go to Disney Land? And right now, we’ve got numerous emails from numerous accounts from people all around the county that think this law makes us a lawless society in Florida” says Smith.
But the man who represents the area where the original killing occurred, State Representative Jason Broduer says time isn’t important. “Any time you place a priority of speed over content, you get a bad result.”
The next meeting is in Sanford on June 12th. The National Rifle Association, which has so far been silent on Stand Your Ground, sent emails today quoting state legislators who support the law.