Florida House Keeps Stand Your Ground Law
The Florida House Criminal Justice Subcommittee hearing on the "Stand Your Ground" law was all for show. Committee head Rep. Matt Gaetz made this statement before the hearing.
Rep. Matt Gaetz, the Fort Walton Beach Republican tapped to lead the hearing, said he would not support changing “one damn comma” of the statute.Rep. Alan Williams filed a bill to repeal "Stand Your Ground." The subcommittee voted the bill down 2 to 11. The only reason there was a hearing is because of the Dream Defenders and the national media attention from Trayvon Martin's death. "Stand Your Ground" is the law for as long as NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer owns the Florida Republican establishment. This statement by Rep. Marti Coley caught my attention.
“Today, our state is a safer place and has the lowest crime rate in 42 years,” said Rep. Marti Coley, a Marianna Republican. “Florida’s Stand Your Ground law is solid. It’s good and should not be changed.”Does Coley have any scientific data to back that claim? A Tampa Bay Times investigative report found drug dealers and gang members were allowed to go free using the "Stand Your Ground" defense. "Stand Your Ground" has given Floridians permission to commit brutal murders.
• People often go free under "stand your ground" in cases that seem to make a mockery of what lawmakers intended. One man killed two unarmed people and walked out of jail. Another shot a man as he lay on the ground. Others went free after shooting their victims in the back. In nearly a third of the cases the Times analyzed, defendants initiated the fight, shot an unarmed person or pursued their victim —and still went free.I don't know about you, but I don't feel safer. This is less about liberal politics and more about I don't want some maniac having the legal right to shoot me for no good reason.