Democrats: Speed up “Stand Your Ground” task force

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Fort Lauderdale Democratic Sen. Chris Smith urged Gov. Rick Scott to speed up the planned work of a task force created to review the state’s “stand your ground” self defense law, reports the News Service of Florida.

The panel was created last week by Scott, but won’t begin its work until after a state’s attorney has completed an investigation into the February shooting of Trayvon Martin in Sanford. “The questionable incidents and lives lost under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law did not begin, nor do I expect it to end, with the tragedy in Sanford,” Smith wrote to Scott. “While the special prosecutor sets about unraveling the facts in the case, and whether self defense was a legitimate factor, the law remains intact – with all the same components still in place for more killings and additional claims of self defense, warranted or not.”

Trayvon Martin was killed by George Zimmerman last month in unclear circumstances in which Zimmerman claims self defense, and hasn’t been charged. Backers of Martin have urged charges be filed in the case. Noting the investigation could take a year Smith asked Scott to convene the task force in the next week. “I also call upon you to convene within 30 days a special session so that the Legislature can have its voice heard as to the perimeters critical to a civilized society,” he wrote.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.