Effort to Repeal Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law Fails 

 December 5, 2013

By  LMW Attorneys

The “stand your ground” law that was applied in the Trayvon Martin case has generated a lot of controversy since the Florida jury found George Zimmerman ‘not guilt.’  But, Florida isn’t the only state that has implemented a ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law. After Florida’s successful reduction in the overall crime rate, many more states copied Florida’s move and passed similar legislation. Advocates of the law stand behind the ability of defending yourself with a handgun, saying it is protected by the U. S. Constitution; but many of the law’s critics are attempting to repeal the self-defense legal claim. Their major issue largely focuses on where an individual’s “ground” actually exists.

Unfortunately, Florida experiences an unusually high number of carjackings and home invasions compared to other states.  The ‘stand your ground” law gives those attacked a legal stance in defending their home and property, and many local law makers agree this is what the people of Florida want.

Recently, the Florida legislature strongly rejected eliminating the law, because after implementation in states with high crime and murder rates, the crime rates seem to substantially drop.  Like the Trayvon Martin case, the special “self-defense” claim has been allowed in several cases that would previously have been tried as murder cases. Critics argue that the law is applied largely according to race and isn’t allowed in all cases.

Critics of “stand your ground” recently sought a total repeal of the law, but the legislature soundly rejected the move. There is still legislation pending before the Florida Senate with language attempting to clarify how the law will be applied in the future.

One thing is clear though; the law will not be eliminated, but restrictive language could be passed. Since Florida was the first state to enact the “stand your ground“  law, it is still unclear if the other states that followed suit will restrict the application of the law further.

If you have been involved in a case you think the “stand your ground” law may be applicable, call the law office of Laporte, Mulligan & Werner-Watkins today at 727-478-4125.