US Attorney General Eric Holder said after the George Zimmerman verdict that Justice will take a 'hard look' at the many 'stand your ground' state laws, such as Florida's. Such laws need challenging as they reverse history's path away from killing.
It didn’t take long. Three days after a jury found George Zimmerman not guilty in the murder of Trayvon Martin, the Justice Department said it will take a “hard look” at a new type of self-defense law known as “stand your ground.”
Florida and nearly two dozen other states have passed such laws since 2005 in a campaign led by the National Rifle Association. The laws get rid of an old legal doctrine that anyone confronted by a dangerous person has a “duty to retreat” rather than shoot. And the laws provide greater legal leniency toward killers who claim they acted out of fear of harm or death.
That’s one reason Florida officials hesitated in arresting Mr. Zimmerman. He wasn’t charged for 44 days after the shooting. And even though his legal defense relied on a traditional self-defense argument rather than Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, the judge’s instructions to the jury specifically mentioned the law’s provision.