One year ago, Travyon Martin was killed by George Zimmerman. Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder in Sanford FL. Florida’s governor, Rick Scott, appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the case and make a charging decision. He chose Angela Corey, the Duval County State Attorney (See Florida Criminal Charges Coming From Jacksonville Attorney). This caused many Jacksonville criminal lawyers to follow this case. Florida criminal attorneys all over the state will be following this case due to the impact that it may have on Florida’s self defense laws.
With the one-year anniversary of Martin’s death, people are focusing on Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law. Zimmerman has claimed that he acted in self defense. He stated:
“He shot Martin in self-defense last Feb. 26 after he decided to follow him in the Sanford, Fla., gated community because Martin looked suspicious. Zimmerman called the police and then approached Martin, and they ended up in a physical fight. Zimmerman, saying he feared for his life, then shot Martin. He was not charged with a crime for several weeks, and his defense attorneys argue he’s immune from prosecution under Florida’s ‘stand your ground’ law.” (See Stand your ground laws survive debate one year after Trayvon Martin’s death).
Due to the nationwide outcry after Martin’s death “a coalition of civil rights groups and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the nation’s highest-profile gun-control advocate, started a campaign, called ‘Second Chance on Shoot First,’ to encourage the repeal of these laws.” The legislatures in other states with self-defense laws similar to Florida’s stand your ground “introduced legislation to alter or repeal their laws. However, “none of the bills to repeal or change ‘stand your ground’ in other states passed.” As for Florida, the stand your ground law is still in full force and effect. “On Friday, the Florida task force released its final recommendations on the law, concluding that it works and should not be repealed.” (Yahoo.com)
Fox News reported that the Florida task force gave a lengthy report. “The 44-page report released by Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s office said people have a right to feel safe and secure in Florida and have a fundamental right to stand their ground and defend themselves from attack. Most of the recommendations had already been made public.” The report did focus somewhat on the Travyon Martin Case. It “recommended that legislators look at neighborhood watch groups.”
It appears that Florida’s self defense laws will not be changing any time soon. The law was enacted in 2005. It will remain unchanged at this time. This is very important to Jacksonville criminal defense attorneys. The Florida stand your ground law protects many innocent people who are facing Jacksonville gun charges.