Florida lawmakers urge overhaul of ‘Stand Your Ground’ law

By Tom Brown FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida (Reuters) - Florida must either repeal its "Stand Your Ground" self-defense law or enact sweeping changes to avert more tragedies like the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, Democratic leaders of the state's legislature said on Thursday. A Seminole County jury on Saturday acquitted George Zimmerman of second-degree murder and manslaughter, with one juror citing Stand Your Ground as a factor in reaching her legal conclusion that Zimmerman, who is white and Hispanic, acted in self-defense. The Zimmerman verdict demonstrated the ramifications of the 2005 law, Florida Senate Democratic leader Chris Smith said. "This bill actually encourages people to shoot their way out of situations and that's not how we live in a civilized society," Smith told a news conference. "It's a mentality that has permeated the state of … [Read more...]