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Can Felons, Barred From Carrying Weapons, Still Claim Stand Your Ground? Court Will Decide.

| July 3, 2014

The Florida Supreme Court will consider whether convicted felons have the right to claim immunity under the state’s controversial “stand your ground” self-defense law, even if they are barred from possessing guns in the first place.

Senate Panel Unanimously Approves Minor Changes to Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law

| March 18, 2014

The bill would clarify that a law enforcement agency must fully investigate whether a person claiming self-defense has lawfully used force. It also would no longer preclude lawsuits from third parties who are injured by negligent conduct used in self-defense.

Sheriff Jim Manfre: How To Restore Common Sense to Stand Your Ground

| March 13, 2014

The public’s valid concern over the vigilante-style actions of certain people who have watched too many Western movies should be dealt with through legislative action, argues Sheriff Jim Manfre, starting with a definition of self-defense that doesn;t leave its determination in the perpetrator’s hands.

Al Sharpton Leads Call For Repeal of Stand Your Ground in Florida Capitol March

| March 10, 2014

Sharpton marched alongside the parents of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis, two teens the marchers said were wrongly killed under Florida’s first-in-the-nation law, which allows people to use deadly force when they feel their lives are in danger and provides immunity from prosecution.

Denying Service to Gays and Lesbians: Right of Conscience Vigilantism Meets Stand Your Ground

| February 28, 2014

Bills in four states that would let businesses deny service to gays and lesbians on religious-freedom grounds are based on the same faulty justification of Stand Your Ground laws on self-defense grounds. In both cases, the 1st and 2nd Amendments are perverted into defenses of vigilantism rather than protection of rights.

Stand Your Ground’s Fatal Flaw, DNA Meets Dog Poop, Arizona’s Bigotry, Adidas’s Sex Tourism: The Live Wire

| February 26, 2014

How John Locke would have interpreted–and derided–Stand Your Ground, child obesity’s encouraging trend, several states copy Arizona’s anti-gay bigotry, devaluing honor classes, Raymond Chandler’s 10 rules of writing a detective novel and Mozart’s full 21st piano concerto.

Stand Your Ground: Florida is Not My Castle. And It’s Not Yours, Either.

| February 11, 2014

The right to stand one’s ground against aggression in one’s home is unquestioned, but, argues Julie Delegal, in public, spaces must be shared, peacefully. The castle doctrine cannot be extended to cover the entire state, as Florida’s Stand Your Ground law does.

Coke Ad’s Un-American Response, Biometrics in Florida Schools, Michael Dunn’s Trial: The Live Wire

| February 3, 2014

Coke’s Super Bowl commercial gets the monolingual un-Americans angry, Michael Dunn goes on trial in another goon-with-gun case in Jacksonville, a woman’s hair is forcibly sheared while she’s in a jail’s restraining chair, New York’s plea to Sean Hanity, why read Bernard Malamud, farewell to Philip Seymour Hoffman and rediscovering Wim Statius Muller.

Judge J. Michael Traynor’s Alarming Equivalence Between an Attempted Murderer and His Victim

| February 2, 2014

When Judge J. Michael Traynor sentenced Nathaniel Juratovac to four years in prison for the attempted murder of Flagler County firefighter Jared Parkey last week, the judge managed to blame both men for the violent incident that led them to the courtroom, a stunning and immoral leveling of blame in a state that too easily excuses gun violence.

Double-Murder Charge Dropped as Stand Your Ground May Head for Supreme Court Review

| January 3, 2014

The 3rd District Court of Appeals ruling Thursday overturned a lower court’s second-degree murder conviction of Gabriel Mobley outside a Chili’s restaurant in Opa-Locka, and could once again put Florida’s first-in-the nation “stand your ground” law and its meaning before the Florida Supreme Court.

Warning-Shot Bill Gaining Support In Spite of Police Opposition and Fears of Vigilantism

| November 11, 2013

Rep. Neil Combee’s Warning Shot Bill under a new guise would amend the “stand your ground” self-defense law and permit people to display guns, threaten to use them or fire warning shots if they were being attacked and feared for their lives. It was inspired by the fate of Marissa Alexander, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing a warning shot at her abusive husband.

Florida’s Stand Your Ground Deconstructed Before US Senate Panel on Civil and Human Rights

| October 29, 2013

The unusual Senate hearing focused almost exclusively on Florida, featured the mothers of two 17 year olds killed in its name–Trayvon martin and Jordan Russell Davis–and drew a rebuke from Ranking Republican Ted Cruz of Texas, who questioned whether the scrutiny of “stand your ground” was part of a broader “political agenda.”

Senate Proposal Would Bar “Aggressors” From Using Stand Your Ground; Approval Unlikely

| October 10, 2013

Prompted by a national outcry over George Zimmerman’s acquittal this summer in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, a Florida Senate committee gave approval to minor changes in the state’s “stand your ground” law. But whether a Legislature dominated by gun-loving lawmakers will ultimately sign off on a bipartisan compromise remains a long shot.

Bill Would Grant Immunity From Harsh Sentences for Firing Warning Shots

| September 27, 2013

A bill filed by a Polk County lawmaker is intended to address what he called “the negative, unintended consequences” of Florida’s 10-20-Life sentencing law by granting immunity to people who fire warning shots to protect themselves and others. The new bill was filed on the same day that the 1st District Court of Appeal ordered a new trial for Marissa Alexander, a Jacksonville woman sentenced to a mandatory 20 years in prison for a shot fired during a domestic dispute in her home.

Appeal Court Orders New Trial for Marissa Alexander, But No Redo on Stand Your Ground

| September 26, 2013

Marissa Alexander, a 32-year-old mother of three, was convicted on improper self-defense instructions to the jury, the court ruled. Alexander was serving a 20-year sentence for shooting a gun during an argument with her abusive husband, against whom she had a restraining order.

After 31 Days, Dream Defenders
End Their Protest at the Florida Capitol

| August 15, 2013

Dream Defender leaders said they’ll carry their campaign against the “stand your ground” self-defense law and what they consider other forms of racial bias to the polls, trying to defeat the elected officials who opposed their demands, including Gov. Rick Scott, who is up for re-election next year.

Not Enough Votes for a Special Session on Stand Your Grounds, But Protest Continues

| August 14, 2013

Republicans have returned enough “no” votes in a poll of legislators to quash the idea of a special session to address the state’s stand your ground law, yet the Dream Defenders, a group of protesters whose around-the-clock sit-in at the Capitol stretched to a 30th day on Wednesday, are not quitting.

Stand Your Ground Special Session: Florida Democrats Invoke Unique Tactic in Hunt for Votes

| August 12, 2013

Vastly outnumbered Democrats have a week to convince enough Republicans lawmakers to support a special session of the Legislature on the Stand Your Ground law. The Secretary of State’s office has to find 96 lawmakers to trigger such a session.

Cabinet Passes, for Now, on Pardoning Marissa Alexander, Pending Stand Your Ground Appeal

| August 7, 2013

Alexander, a 32-year-old mother of three, was sentenced to 20 years in prison last year after firing a shot into a wall during a dispute with her abusive husband, a case that stands in sharp contrast with George Zimmerman’s not-guilty verdict after he shot and killed an unarmed teen.

Hypertown: Jesse Jackson and His Detractors

| August 4, 2013

But by the time Gov. Scott and his ilk were done demanding that Jesse Jackson apologize to all Floridians over hos comparisons of Scott to George Wallace and the Dream Defenders to the Selma march, lo and behold, we were back talking about the Dream Defenders and Stand Your Ground. That was Jackson’s goal.

Jesse Jackson Calls Capitol Sit-In “The Selma of Our Time.” Scott Calls It an “Insult” to Floridians.

| July 31, 2013

Calling Florida “an apartheid state,” Jackson spoke ahead of an overnight visit with the Dream Defenders that has staged a sit-in at Scott’s office to demand a special legislative session to consider changes to the state’s self-defense laws, initiatives to end racial profiling and an end to zero-tolerance discipline policies in schools.

Into Their Second Week of Protest, Dream Defenders Plan Their Own Special Session

| July 30, 2013

Scott, who is expected to spend the next couple of days back on the road, didn’t pop out for a chat with those who want him to call a special session on the state’s controversial “stand your ground” law.

Harry Belafonte Joins Dream Defenders at Florida Capitol as Protest Enters 2nd Weekend

| July 26, 2013

Backed by the arrival of supporters from throughout Florida and the East Coast, as well as singer and activist Harry Belafonte, protesters led by the Hialeah-based Dream Defenders maintained their request for a special legislative session amid rousing chants that filled an area outside the governor’s office.

Dream Defenders’ Stand Your Ground Standoff at Scott’s Office Continues Into Second Week

| July 22, 2013

Members of the Dream Defenders, a student-led group that has protested at the Capitol since last Tuesday, said they’re busy making plans for the rest of this week and beyond as Scott reiterated Monday, before leaving Tallahassee for an event in southeast Florida, that there will be no special session to review the state’s controversial “stand your ground” law.

Demonstrating and Reporting Outrage Over Zimmerman’s Acquittal Isn’t Overkill. Shooting Trayvon Was.

| July 21, 2013

Marches and other responses to the George Zimmerman trail are focusing needed attention on a culture at times too comfortable with the the paradox of imagining itself past the sort of racially motivated mindsets that made the killing of Trayvon Martin possible, argues Steve Robinson.

‘The Struggle Continues’: Civil Rights Generation Shows Palm Coast How It’s Done in 100-Voice March

| July 20, 2013

Some 100 people, most old enough to have lived through the civil rights era, walked for almost 4 miles on Palm Coast Parkway Saturday morning, singing and showing their solidarity with Trayvon Martin’s family and their opposition to Florida’s stand your ground law. Several had taken part in marches dating back to the 1963 March on Washington.

Obama on Stand Your Ground and Zimmerman Aftermath: “Trayvon Martin Could Have Been Me 35 Years Ago”

| July 20, 2013

As protests have continued and grown, President Obama Friday afternoon spoke on the stand your ground law, the Zimmerman trial aftermath, Trayvon Martin and race more expansively and in more personal terms than he had since his speech on race from Philadelphia as a presidential candidate in 2008. The full text and video are included.

Trayvon Martin Solidarity March in Palm Coast Saturday as Protests Elsewhere Continue

| July 19, 2013

The Saturday morning march in Trayvon Martin’s memory is being organized by Valerie Ottley, a retired Palm Coast resident of 22 years who is herself a neighborhood watch coordinator. The march will start at 8:30 a.m. at Kohl’s on Belle Terre Parkway and follow a course down Palm Coast Parkway to U.S.1 and back.

Middle School Boy Invokes Stand Your Ground in School Bus Fight With Girl, and Court Agrees

| July 17, 2013

Showing the breadth of Florida’s “stand your ground” law, an appeals court Wednesday said the controversial legal defense can be used by a boy involved in a fight with a girl on a school bus. No weapons were involved. The boy making the stand your ground claim was arrested on a battery charge.

Students Stage Sit-In at Gov. Scott’s Office, Demanding Special Session on Florida’s Gun Laws

| July 16, 2013

The students, part of a group called the Dream Defenders, said they’re responding to the “not guilty” verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman, want a special legislative session addressing laws such as Florida’s “stand your ground” self-defense provision they say unfairly affect minority youth.

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