U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to Investigate "Stand Your Ground" Law

U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to Investigate "Stand Your Ground" Law

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights voted Friday to launch an investigation into "Stand Your Ground" law and whether it has racial bias.

Published June 3, 2013

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has approved an investigation into the controversial "Stand Your Ground" law. The organization will decide whether the law that 24 states currently follow, has racial bias. 

Focus was put on the law following the killing of Trayvon Martin by former neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in February 2012. He was not arrested immediately after the incident and later plead self-defense, citing the "Stand Your Ground" law, which allows people to use deadly force in instances where they feel threatened.

The commission evenly split between Republicans and Democrats voted 5-3 to launch the investigation on Friday. Democratic Commissioner Michael Yaki has been pushing the investigation, which may cost close to $100,000 to carry out. 

"We're going to take our own cut at it, go down, dig through records at the district attorney, police level and other things, and start going through ... to see whether or not, as some people suspect, that there is bias in the assertion or the denial of Stand Your Ground, depending on the race of the victim or the race of the person asserting the defense," Yaki told The Huffington Post.

Zimmerman waived his right to seek immunity under the "Stand Your Ground" law at a hearing in April. His lawyer Mark O'Mara says he may seek immunity later. Zimmerman, who goes to trial on June 10, pleaded not guilty to the second-degree murder charges.

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 (Photo: John Moore/Getty Images)

Written by Natelege Whaley


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