TALLAHASSEE -- Senate Democratic Leader Chris Smith filed legislation Monday to eliminate several provisions of the Stand Your Ground law.
The bill, SB 122, ould not let a person claim Stand Your Ground as a defense if he or she left a place of safety or chased someone down to initiate a confrontation. The measure also lifts some restriction on law enforcement's ability to investigate the use of force.
“Long before the death of Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of George Zimmerman, ‘Stand Your Ground’ had a long and troubled track record in Florida,” said Smith said. “This law is neither working as intended nor protecting those it was intended to protect. Unless the critics are comfortable with continuing to give deadly aggressors a free pass from prosecution, these long overdue and reasonable changes need to be made.”
Smith filed similar legislation last year, but it did not get a hearing. House Democrats have also pushed for a full repeal of the law.
The issue may at least get a hearing this year in the House, though.
In a concession to protesters who occupied the capitol building for a few weeks, House Speaker Will Weatherford did promise at least one committee hearing on the issue.