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Published On: Thu, Oct 31st, 2013

Mother of Trayvon Martin calls for end to ‘Stand Your Ground’ Laws, ‘is not working’

Trayvon Martin’s mother told a panel of senators Tuesday that state “stand your ground” self-defense laws do not work and must be amended.

Trayvon-Martin-hoodie-photoSybrina Fulton appeared before the Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights to ask its members to “seriously take a look” at the 2005 Florida law and similar ones passed in more than a dozen other states since then.

“He was simply going to the store to get snacks, nothing more, nothing less,” Fulton said of her son, Trayvon Martin, who was shot dead by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida, in early 2012.

“He was minding his own business, he was not looking for any kind of trouble, he was not committing any kind of crime.”

She added, “The person who shot and killed my son is walking the streets today. … The Law is not working.”

The term “duty to retreat” was commonplace in the discussion replacing “self-defense” in past arguments.

“Whatever the motivation behind them, it’s clear these laws often go too far in encouraging confrontations that escalate into deadly violence,” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) said in his opening statement. “They’re resulting in unnecessary tragedies and they are diminishing accountability under our justice system.”

“These laws permit and, quite frankly, encourage individuals to use deadly force even in situations where lesser or no physical force would be appropriate,” said Rep. Marcia L. Fudge (D-Ohio), testifying at the hearing. She said the laws foster “a Wild West environment in our communities, where individuals play the role of judge, jury and executioner.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), the ranking Republican on the subcommittee, said the right of people to stay and “stand their ground” stems from a 1895 Supreme Court decision.

Cruz said the notion that “you’re obliged to turn and run rather than to defend yourself is a notion that is contrary to hundreds of years of our jurisprudence and to the rights that protect all of us.”

 

About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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