Reporting Tim Kephart
Legislative Session Coverage
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – In the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting in Sanford, Florida, the Miami-Dade Commission passed a resolution Tuesday asking the Florida Legislature to repeal the “Stand Your Ground” law currently on the books.
Martin, 17, was shot by George Zimmerman who has claimed self-defense under the Stand Your Ground statute that allows a person to use deadly force to protect themselves in almost any situation. Before the law was passed in 2005, the stand your ground provision only applied to your home.
According to Commissioner Barbara J. Jordan’s resolution, there have been 130 incidents in Florida since the law was passed, with 37 of those incidents occurring in the last 18 months. In many of those cases involving a fatality, no criminal charges were filed, according to Jordan.
“Trayvon Martin’s death has forced us as elected officials and as a community to re-evaluate the effectiveness of ‘Stand Your Ground’. A young man is dead without cause and the nation is outraged that justice has not been served,” said Commissioner Jordan. “The language of the statute is far too broad and there is no consistency in how it’s applied. How can our police officers and state attorneys investigate and prosecute a case involving ‘Stand Your Ground’ when the law is so vague? It needs to be repealed.”
At the same time, Florida state Senator Chris Smith announced that he has formed a task force of his own that will start working on Thursday in Ft. Lauderdale to review the Stand Your Ground statute.
The public will be allowed to speak at Senator Smith’s task force meeting. Among those selected for his task force include: Ft. Laud. Police Chief Frank Adderley, Broward State Attorney Mike Satz, Former U.S. Attorney Dan Gelber, and others.
The meeting will be held Thursday from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. at the Broward County Main Library’s first floor auditorium. The library is located at 101 South Andrews Avenue in Fort Lauderdale.