ADL: Zimmerman Verdict Raises Questions About 'Stand Your Ground'

Monday, 15 Jul 2013 03:26 PM

By Melanie Batley

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The verdict in the George Zimmerman murder trial raises questions about the legitimacy of "stand-your-ground laws" and access to concealed-weapons permits, the Anti-Defamation League said.

Officials said the ADL does not question the not-guilty verdict for Zimmerman in the killing of black 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

"We have great faith in America's jury system and do not question the verdict in the Zimmerman case," Barry Curtiss-Lusher and Abraham Foxman, the group's national chairman and national director, respectively, said in a statement Monday.

"However, this case raises serious questions about the wisdom of stand-your-ground laws and the easy access to concealed-weapons permits in states like Florida, where more than 1 million permits have been issued since 1987, when the state’s concealed-weapons law went into effect.

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"Had neither been in place, this tragedy may never have occurred," they said.

The stand-your-ground law states permits people to use force in self-defense if they believe their lives are in danger, rather than retreating. The law allows people to defend themselves outside their homes — with deadly force if necessary — if they believe someone is trying to harm them.

Concealed-carry laws were part of the national debate this year during congressional attempts to overhaul gun legislation.

The ADL said that the Zimmerman case highlights "serious, unresolved issues of race in our country."

"Hopefully, the debate concerning the justice of the verdict in the Zimmerman case will inspire a continued much-needed discussion about the lingering impact of racism in society," Curtiss-Lusher and Foxman said in the statement.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice, and bigotry.




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