Fla. Task Force Wants Major Changes To “Stand Your Ground” Law
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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) —Florida’s controversial “stand your ground” law should undergo major changes but not be repealed, according to an independent task force created in the wake of the Travyon Martin shooting.
State Sen. Chris Smith, who organized a panel of legal experts to look at the state’s “stand your ground” law, delivered recommendations to Gov. Rick Scott and legislative leaders on Monday.
Smith released the list a day before a separate panel put together by the governor is scheduled to hold its first meeting.
The Fort Lauderdale Democrat said he would sponsor a bill that includes the changes, including one that requires a grand jury to determine whether “stand your ground” can be used to avoid prosecution.
Smith said the group, which included prosecutors and defense attorneys, could not agree on whether to repeal the law.
17-year-old Trayvon Martin, of Miami, was fatally shot in Sanford by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in February.
Authorities initially declined to charge Zimmerman, citing the “stand your ground” law which repealed a requirement to retreat before using deadly force for self-protection.
A special prosecutor later charged Zimmerman with second-degree murder but the 44-day delay in his arrest led to nationwide protests.
He has since been released from jail on bond and immediately went into hiding over concerns about his safety.
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