Repeal Florida's "Stand Your Ground" Law... Justice for Trayvon Martin
We are seeking the REPEAL of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, because it is so vague and so overbroad, that it includes situations that the lawmakers did not contemplate when they enacted the law.
#1: Citizens may disobey instructions from public officials to not pursue a potential “suspect.”
#2: Citizens may chase potential “suspects” down, when the danger is not urgent.
#3: Citizens may turn into aggressors, moreover “standing their ground.”
Most recently, Mr. George Zimmerman asserted this defense after he shot and killed unarmed, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, in the Sanford Community. This shooting has sparked nationwide outrage and debate over how far someone can go in asserting that they reasonably feared for their safety.
Since this law’s enactment, “it has been frequently cited in cases ranging from a 2006 incident in which a man sprayed a vehicle carrying a known gang member with 14 bullets to the 2011 case of a man who was cleared under “stand your ground” after stabbing a man in the head with an ice pick during a road rage incident. The number of justifiable homicides reported in the state has skyrocketed since the law went into effect. In the five years before the law’s approval, Florida averaged 12 justifiable homicides a year, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. In the six years since, the average is 33. – CNN News
Section 3 of Title XLVI – Chapter 776 – Justifiable Use of Force provides: "A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony."
This is the section that needs revision and clarity. Were this specific section to be repealed, one could still use force in their home, up to and including deadly force, with reasonable fear for their safety or the safety of others. Our issue is the law as it is presently written. It provides an incentive to murder and purport after the fact that he/she feared for his or her life with no proof of otherwise. If this law were to be repealed, it could be written in a manner that better articulates the standards and requirements the lawmakers originally intended.
We thank you for your support!
Keisha Robinson & Ian Depagnier
Please view the law, as it is outlined below:
Title XLVI – Chapter 776 – JUSTIFIABLE USE OF FORCE
776.013 Home protection; use of deadly force; presumption of fear of death or great bodily harm.—
(1) A person is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another when using defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another if:
(a) The person against whom the defensive force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, or if that person had removed or was attempting to remove another against that person’s will from the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle; and
(b) The person who uses defensive force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred.
(2) The presumption set forth in subsection (1) does not apply if:
(a) The person against whom the defensive force is used has the right to be in or is a lawful resident of the dwelling, residence, or vehicle, such as an owner, lessee, or titleholder, and there is not an injunction for protection from domestic violence or a written pretrial supervision order of no contact against that person; or
(b) The person or persons sought to be removed is a child or grandchild, or is otherwise in the lawful custody or under the lawful guardianship of, the person against whom the defensive force is used; or
(c) The person who uses defensive force is engaged in an unlawful activity or is using the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle to further an unlawful activity; or
(d) The person against whom the defensive force is used is a law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(14), who enters or attempts to enter a dwelling, residence, or vehicle in the performance of his or her official duties and the officer identified himself or herself in accordance with any applicable law or the person using force knew or reasonably should have known that the person entering or attempting to enter was a law enforcement officer.
(3) A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.
(4) A person who unlawfully and by force enters or attempts to enter a person’s dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle is presumed to be doing so with the intent to commit an unlawful act involving force or violence.
(5) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Dwelling” means a building or conveyance of any kind, including any attached porch, whether the building or conveyance is temporary or permanent, mobile or immobile, which has a roof over it, including a tent, and is designed to be occupied by people lodging therein at night.
(b) “Residence” means a dwelling in which a person resides either temporarily or permanently or is visiting as an invited guest.
(c) “Vehicle” means a conveyance of any kind, whether or not motorized, which is designed to transport people or property.
History.—s. 1, ch. 2005-27.
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