Fla.'s Congressional Democrats will introduce bill to deter 'Stand Your Ground' laws

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Congressional Democrats from Florida will introduce legislation seeking to force states to repeal “stand your ground’ laws that give those under attack more lenient treatment when they’ve fought back, reports the News Service of Florida.

Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., is spearheading the move, saying Trayvon Martin, who lived in her district, might not have been shot this year if George Zimmerman hadn’t felt protected by such a liberally-applied self defense law. Zimmerman is expected to claim self defense under the stand your ground law, passed in 2005 in Florida, which says those who feel threatened have no duty to try to get out of a situation before taking lethal action.

The law is also under close scrutiny in Florida, where a panel appointed by Gov. Rick Scott to give it a new look held its first meeting on Tuesday. “The thought that George Zimmerman could get away with such a horrendous crime is a travesty of justice,” Wilson said in a statement announcing she would push for the legislation. Zimmerman hasn’t been convicted, but faces second degree murder charges. Wilson said she plans to introduce the measure next week. It would withold federal transportation money from states that adopt stand your ground laws. Observers say in the Republican-controlled Congress the measure has no chance of passage.

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.