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Stand Your Ground task force finalizing recommendations

by Dara Kam | November 13th, 2012

PENSACOLA _ After four months of testimony regarding Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, a panel headed by Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll is finalizing recommendations to the legislature about how – if at all – the law should be changed.

But critics of the task force appointed by Gov. Rick Scott in the aftermath of the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by neighborhood watch volunteer were disappointed by the panel’s suggestions, saying they will do little to clear up what they call haphazard application of the law.

The panel’s first recommendation is an affirmation of the law.

“The Task Force concurs with the core belief that all persons, regardless of citizenship status, have a right to feel safe and secure in our state. To that end, all persons have a fundamental right to defend themselves from attack with proportionate force in every place they have a lawful right to be and are conducting themselves in a lawful manner.”

Other recommendations include:
- Asking the legislature to examine the “unlawful activity” of the law. The statute says that the Stand Your Ground law can be invoked as long as people are not engaged in “unlawful activity.”
- Training for prosecutors, law enforcement officials and others about how the law works.
- Having the lawmakers consider setting standards for neighborhood watch groups, now left up mostly to local law enforcement.
- Asking lawmakers to examine the definition of “criminal prosecution” to clear up confusion by law enforcement officials about what they are allowed to do under the law.

“The Task Force heard examples of law enforcement expressing concern for the definition of ‘criminal prosecution.’ The concerns were that law enforcement was not assured of the ability to fully investigate by detaining or arresting upon probable cause a person engaged in use of force,” that recommendation reads.

The panel, just back from lunch, is slated to discuss the “10-20-Life” law as it relates to the use of Stand Your Ground, possibly making a recommendation to relax that gun-related statute that includes mandatory sentences for crimes in which a gun in used.

Criminal defense lawyers and the sponsors of the Stand Your Ground law vehemently objected to a proposal to do away with the immunity from prosecution portion of the law, saying that would effectively gut the statute.

Palm Beach County circuit judge Krista Marx brought up the issue of immunity, arguing that only judges can give immunity. Under the law, people who use the Stand Your Ground defense are immune from prosecution unless a judge decides they may have committed a crime.

She said law enforcement can still investigate whether a crime was committed.

“So when you use the word immunity and suggest that a law enforcement officer or even a state attorney can infer immunity on somebody, it’s incorrect,” Marx said.

But state Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, who sponsored the law, disagreed. He wanted to make sure the law continued to keep people who use Stand Your Ground from having to hire a lawyer to defend themselves in court.

“I think the legislature does have the authority to say who will be prosecuted and who will be not prosecuted,” Baxley said. “And in that generic sense that they’re immune from prosecution if in fact they were a law-abiding citizen they were doing nothing wrong except what they should do, which is stop a violent act so nobody got beat raped or murdered. You do not detain them. They’re doing what they’re supposed to do…They’re stopping a violent act. And that’s what I want the statute to do at the end of the day.”
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15 Responses to “Stand Your Ground task force finalizing recommendations”

  1. Jerry Says:

    Stand your ground is a great law. What happened with the Travon Martin case was that the public was fed a line of crap through the one sided media reporting. Had this been a black on white crime, it would have been considered “old news” and given a line or two on page 8 of the local papers. Mr Z. was perfectly within his right to question this person who did not belong in that area. The NAACP and the ACLU (and obama) should have stayed out of it completely and let the law work as it was designed.
    Instead of “jumping to conclusion” before all the evidence is presented is not only wrong, it should be unlawful too. In this case, it would be almost impossible to find a fair and unbiased jury for Mr. Zimmerman.

  2. Dick Almighty Says:

    My post got “Yanked” the same way that tranny “yanked” me before the mother of all a$$whoppin’s

  3. 2014 Says:

    2014, Rick Scott!

    Tick tock.

    Get your resume shined up.

    Here I’ll help:

    * started for-profit health “care” business

    * ripped off Medicare of $500m

    * bough governor’s office with dirty money

    * suppressed minority, college and senior vote

    He has a bright future as whipping boy for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce or spokesman for the Fascists of America (same thing really).

  4. Shan Says:

    The easiest way for Florida to get rid of the “stand your ground” law or modify it to have some “substance” is for one of the state politicians to be impacted negatively by it.
    It’s like when you’re allowed to walk around with your gun in plain public view or concealed. You will notice the law was “tweaked” to not allow those same guns in the State house while the state representatives are convened. Interesting twist in the “rules”…
    I recall years ago, when Florida had vehicle inspections as nothing more than a revenue producer (forget clean air and pollution – that was not the underlying point). The story goes when then-Governor Graham’s wife had to sit in the inspection line longer than she felt was necessary, vehicle inspections miraculously “went away”.
    As long as “everyday” Floridians are killing each other over nothing most of the time and claiming this law as a defense or rationale, politicians don’t give a dXXn. Unfortunately, it has to hit close to home before you’ll see some action.

  5. One Nation Forward Says:

    “2014″

    I completely agree with your statement. After we get rid of Scott, We need to oust all Republican governors and replace them with Democrats. Then we replace all Republican congressmen and senators with Democrats. After we do that then we need to get that right wing faux newz off the air and silence all conservative talk radio all while replacing them with Liberal er, I mean, Progressive broadcasters. Yes we can form this perfect society!

    We’ll teach those Fascists….um, wait…what?

  6. Obama/Dems 2012 Says:

    @ One Nation Forward,

    We also need to get rid of that pesky term limits so Obama can be president for life!

    All hail Supreme Leader Obama!

  7. Obama/Dems 2012 Says:

    WE MUST PUSH OUR AGENDA FORWARD AND SILENCE ALL OPPOSITION

  8. sam Says:

    I have no problem with people defending themselves or their home. But the idea that you can be out in the public and not have ANY obligation to retreat or that you can be the aggressor and then claim SYG seems wrong to me.

  9. Outwithslickrick Says:

    Here comes Charlie 2014!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Out with Slick Rick!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Half Pint Says:

    I agree with jerry- the law should remain as is. maybe if more thugs or wanna be thugs knew we, decent citizens, are allowed to defend ourselves and actually put our lives before the person assaulting us- the assaults would slow down or stop. Thugs don’t have respect for authority, rules or laws and the TM case proves it.
    How about the non-photoshopped picture of TM as a 12 year old- why aren’t you putting the actual picture of him at 17 from his website?

  11. Insider Says:

    Judge Krista Marx enjoyed her time off to talk with the FBI about the corruption that is going on within the court system. Judge Marx gave the load down to the govt. of who are the players involved.

    Many phones have been tapped in various law offices and judges chambers of those who were connected with corruption cases. Even their home phones were monitored.

    Expect over thirty judges and attorneys to be rounded up one morning and head off to Federal court.

  12. Chris Says:

    The right to self-defense already exists without “Stand Your Ground.” This law is not only unnecessary but also dangerous, leading to aggressors claiming self-defense when they have no legal right to it.

  13. Black Rage Says:

    AWESOME LAW!
    .
    Thuggamuffins who attack people should not be able to enrich others (the beauty of the Stand Your Ground (SYG)law is it denies the scum of the Earth parents from getting rich off of their negligence (leaving your kid all alone all weekend long is not some form of model parenting, it freaking negligence)

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