Gun-rights Advocates To Testify Before ‘Stand Your Ground’ Task Force
JACKSONVILLE (CBSMiami/AP) — The Florida task force created to review the state’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law is scheduled to meet Tuesday in Jacksonville.
Gun-rights advocates are set to testify before the task force which was created following the deadly shooting of unarmed Miami teen Trayvon Martin by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in February.
Marion Hammer of the National Rifle Association and Al Hammond of Unified Sportsmen of Florida are planning to testify.
Gov. Rick Scott appointed the task force to review Florida’s law following Trayvon’s shooting.
Zimmerman has claimed self-defense under the law and is pleading not guilty to a second-degree murder charge, claiming self-defense.
The task force will present its recommendations to the Florida Legislature next year.
Meantime in Orlando, attorneys for Zimmerman said in a motion Monday that prosecutors are dragging their feet on turning over evidence.
Zimmerman’s attorneys said prosecutors aren’t turning information over in a timely manner and are providing some material in a format that’s useless for defense experts to examine. They’re asking for monthly hearings to manage the turnover of evidence from prosecutors to defense lawyers.
“The state’s approach to discovery has been to require the defense to figure out what the state has failed to provide and then ask for it rather than fulfilling the state’s legal obligation to provide complete and timely discovery,” attorney Donald West said in the motion.
Zimmerman’s attorneys also asked prosecutors for cell phone photos taken by a witness and a police officer on the night of the shooting.
Zimmerman’s latest filings come less than a week after his attorneys asked prosecutors for any evidence that might suggest Martin’s civil rights were violated by Zimmerman. Martin was black, and Zimmerman has a Peruvian mother and a white father.
The U.S. Justice Department launched a probe into the initial handling of the investigation after Zimmerman wasn’t arrested 44 days after the shooting. Zimmerman’s attorneys also asked for information on any probe into the Sanford Police Department’s handling of racial tension in Sanford after Martin’s death.
Martin’s parents and supporters claim that the unarmed teenager was targeted because he was black and that Zimmerman started the confrontation that led to the shooting. But Zimmerman’s family members have denied that he was racist in anyway.
Martin’s parents have started a website aimed at changing “stand your ground” laws around the nation. ChangeforTrayvon.com was launched this week.
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