Stand Your Ground Taskforce Holds Northwest Florida Hearing

By: Sandra Osborne Email
By: Sandra Osborne Email

A Florida task force charged with reviewing the state's `Stand Your Ground' law is held its final meeting in Pensacola.

Task force members agreed they want Florida residents to continue having the right to defend themselves against a threat.

The task force was created after the shooting of 17 year old Trayvon Martin, by Sanford neighborhood watch member George Zimmerman.

Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty to second degree murder, claiming he was defending himself under the 'Stand Your Ground' law.

One of the men who drafted the original legislation, former State Senator Dr. Durell Peaden, says it does not apply.

"In this case, the shooter did not receive protection under this particular law. They might use other defenses, but certainly under the law that I authored, the shooter should not receive the protection of Stand Your Ground," said Peaden.

The judge will have to determine if the law applies to this case.
Despite the Zimmerman controversy, many task force members believe the majority of the law should remain in tact.

"You do not detain them. They're doing what they're supposed to do as a good citizen. They're stopping a violent act and that's what I want this statute to do at the end of the day," said State Representative Dennis Baxley.

Other recommendations include additional prosecutor training on the law, and new standards for neighborhood watch groups.

The Lieutenant Governor will take the recommendations to Governor Rick Scott.


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