George Zimmerman, 27, now faces trial for second-degree murder – and his defense team is expected to argue during a pretrial hearing in April that he acted in accord with Florida's Stand Your Ground law and was within his rights to defend himself with deadly force, even though he forced a confrontation with Trayvon.
"My hope is that we've sort of moved past the initial emotional reaction to more thoughtful reflection on what this means for the country, to have laws that make it so easy for disputes that could otherwise be resolved peacefully to lead to deadly outcomes that we don't seem to condemn," say Joelle Moreno, a law professor at Florida International University.
Starting in 2005, at least 24 states have enacted versions of so-called Stand Your Ground laws, but no additional states passed such a law since Trayvon's death. Others point to the attention the case brought to a driver of those laws, the American Legislative Exchange Council, which has since shifted its focus to fiscal policy instead of gun policy.
Travyon's parents, Tracy Martin and Sabrina Fulton, will attend a candlelight vigil in New York City Tuesday evening at 7:15, the time that their son died a year ago. With the help of their lawyer, Ben Crump, they have pushed to keep Trayvon's death at the forefront of policy discussions and formed a lobbying group urging the 24 states with some form of Stand your Ground laws to reassess the statutes' effectiveness.