'Stand Your Ground’ was never meant to give aggressors the opportunity to get away with murder, but that is what happened to our son, Trayvon Benjamin Martin, who was stalked, chased down, and killed without any criminal consequences. Please join our efforts to ensure that no other family has to go through what we have gone through, not only to have our child stolen away from us, but to then also have to watch his killer go free.
The national, and even international outrage over the acquittal of our son’s killer led everyone from President Obama to Republican Senator John McCain, to come together and call for ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws to be reviewed to ensure that they are not so open to abuse that they encourage violence and make people feel unsafe in public places.
Florida State Senator Chris Smith and Rep. Bruce Antone have already introduced bills HB 331/SB 136, amending ‘Stand Your Ground’ with language that clarifies the original intent as articulated by former Governor Jeb Bush, who signed ‘Stand Your Ground’ into law and said regarding our son’s killing that, “‘Stand Your Ground’ means stand your ground. It doesn't mean chase after somebody who's turned their back”.
Unfortunately, this important bill died in committee in May. But Sen. Smith is re-filing his bill so we can still show the Florida State Legislature that we want this legislation passed.
Sadly, other cases such as the senseless killing of Jordan Davis, have shown that our son’s death was not an isolated incident, and that the insufficiently articulated self-defense laws can encourage and enable violent aggressors to kill people, including children.
Please stand with us as we call on the Florida State Legislature to amend 'Stand Your Ground' to reflect it's original intent as articulated in HB 331/SB 136 and make Florida a safer place for us all.
Florida State Senator Chris Smith and Rep. Bruce Antone's introduced bills HB 331 and SB 136 with this intent but did not make it out of committee. Legislation with similar language should be reintroduced and supported.
Among the provisions included in Senator Smith’s proposed bill were:
• Eliminating the grant of immunity if the Defendant took himself to the fight when he could have stayed in a safe place instead
• Specifying that immunity is not available to aggressors
• Specifying that immunity provisions do not restrict law enforcement agencies’ right and duty to fully and completely investigate use of force cases when a person claims immunity/self-defense
Former Governor Jeb Bush, who signed ‘Stand Your Ground’ into law and said regarding Trayvon Martin’s killing that, “‘Stand Your Ground’ means stand your ground. It doesn't mean chase after somebody who's turned their back”.
Please support legislation that would amend Florida's Stand Your Ground law to its original intent.