Tags: Trayvon | martin | mom | senate

Trayvon Martin's Mother Asks Senate to Curb 'Stand Your Ground' Laws

Tuesday, 29 Oct 2013 08:55 PM


The mother of slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin urged a U.S. Senate panel to help rescind "Stand Your Ground" laws that have proliferated in state legislatures, granting gun owners wider latitude to use their weapons in self-defense.

Stand Your Ground laws remove requirements to retreat from danger and grant people the right to meet force with force when they reasonably fear bodily harm.

"It certainly did not work in my case. The person that shot and killed my son is walking the streets today," Sybrina Fulton, Martin's mother, told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

"We need to do something about this law when our kids cannot feel safe in their own community," Fulton said.

Since Florida passed its law in 2005, more than half the states have passed similar laws with the backing of the gun lobby, said Illinois Senator Dick Durban, a Democrat who led the hearing and claimed the laws have led to 600 additional homicides a year in the United States.

Criticism of such laws intensified after the 2012 death of Martin, who was unarmed.

Police in the central Florida town of Sanford initially declined to arrest his shooter, George Zimmerman, citing the Stand Your Ground law and evidence that Martin was getting the best of Zimmerman in a struggle when Zimmerman drew his gun and fired.

Zimmerman was later charged and brought to trial, and a six-woman jury cleared him of second-degree murder.

The Zimmerman case generated street protests across the United States and a nationwide debate about guns laws, with supporters noting the right to bear arms and self-defense were deeply ingrained in the United States.

So far none of the state laws have been rescinded, and the U.S. Senate would have little ability to overturn state laws.

"These Stand Your Ground laws had led to increases in homicides and firearm injuries including 600 additional homicides a year with no deterrent effect on crimes like robbery and assault," Durbin said, citing research from Texas A&M University.

Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas, disputed Durbin's conclusions and said Florida data showed African American defendants have used the Stand Your Ground defense more frequently than have white defendants.

"The Stand Your Ground defense only applies when it is a violent aggressor attacking an innocent defender. If it is not, the law doesn't apply," Cruz said.

Fulton later countered that "Trayvon was minding his own business" but the jury still found Zimmerman was within his right to use deadly force.

"(Trayvon) was not looking for any type of trouble," Fulton said. "He was not committing any crime, and that's important to remember."

© 2015 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

TV Talk Show Pioneer Joe Franklin Dies

Sunday, 25 Jan 2015 08:59 AM

Pioneering radio and TV host Joe Franklin, who gave breaks to the likes of Al Pacino and Bill Cosby on his variety show  . . .

Researchers Search for Amelia Earhart's Plane on Remote Marshalls Atoll

Sunday, 25 Jan 2015 07:25 AM

A search is under way on a remote atoll in the Marshall Islands aimed at solving the mysterious disappearance of aviatio . . .

F-16s Escort Two Airliners to Atlanta Airport After Bomb Threat

Saturday, 24 Jan 2015 18:37 PM

F-16 fighter jets escorted two passenger planes to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport following a bomb thr . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved