First Public Meeting on Stand Your Ground Law Convenes

Florida convenes its first meeting on the state's controversial Stand Your Ground Law

A task force in Florida held its first public meeting on the state’s highly controversial stand your ground law, holding the event within 20 miles of the city where Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman.

The meeting was the first of several established by Governor Rick Scott's task force to examine the Florida law. The meetings are being chaired by Florida's African-American Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll, who is attending the meetings along with the parents of Trayvon Martin. 

Carroll said the meeting isn't about Martin's specific case.

They plan to present a petition with more than 300,000 signatures calling for the law to be repealed. 

Martin, 17, was shot dead on Feb. 26 after an altercation with a neighborhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman, as he walked through a gated community in Sanford. His death triggered the review of the law. Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of Martin.

Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty and has claimed that the shooting was in self-defense. 

Although Florida is not the only state with a stand your ground law, it was the first. A study from Texas A&M University found that in Florida and 22 other states the passage of stand your ground laws resulted in an increase in murder and manslaughter cases, the Reuters news agency reported.

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(Photo: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

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