Zimmerman Trial

Florida House Dems Back Senate Tweaks of Stand Your Ground

Nov 6, 2013

Florida House Democrats met with reporters Wednesday to say they don't want to turn Thursday’s Stand Your Ground hearing into a publicity stunt.

The House Criminal Justice Subcommittee will take up a bill by Democratic state Representative Alan Williams. The measure would repeal the 2005 Florida law that says people don't have to retreat in a situation where they fear for their lives.

The police chief in Sanford, Fla., where neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman shot and killed teenager Trayvon Martin in February 2012, will unveil rules next week that stress "volunteers are not to carry guns and not to follow suspects," our colleagues at Orlando's WMFE report.

Why Changing Florida's 'Stand Your Ground' Law Remains Elusive

Oct 9, 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 Tuesday 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, despite a seemingly indifferent National Rifle Association, which helped write Florida's first-in-the-nation law.

The law's 2005 sponsor, Sen. David Simmons, defended the current law while conceding it could be better.

The makeup of the George Zimmerman jury – six women, five of them white – got the attention of Sen. Gwen Margolis, D-Miami when the jury acquitted Zimmerman in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin of Sanford.

Margolis has filed a bill in Tallahassee that would require a 12-member jury for any felony case that might bring life in prison. (Twelve jurors are already required for death penalty cases.)

"Shellie Zimmerman, the wife of acquitted murder suspect George Zimmerman, today pleaded guilty to a less serious form of perjury in a plea deal that requires her to serve one year of probation," the Orlando Sentinel writes.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

More than a month after he was acquitted on murder charges, George Zimmerman - or at least his lawyers - are headed back to court. Zimmerman is the Neighborhood Watch volunteer who shot and killed unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin. His lawyers are asking the state of Florida to reimburse their client for court costs incurred during his murder trial - costs, they say, might be as high as $300,000.

NPR's Greg Allen reports.

flsenate.gov

The Stand Your Ground law will get hearings when the Florida Legislature convenes for regular business next month.

But no significant changes in the law are expected.

Lawmakers voted against holding a special session on Stand Your Ground after protesters staged a month-long sit-in at the Capitol.

MetroTown

 

Like at other summer camps, the young people who spent a week at MetroTown last month put on skits and competed in sports. But the purpose of MetroTown, unlike a typical recreational summer camp, is to teach students empathy.

Students engaged in camp-wide discussions on race, diversity, gender, sexuality and religion.

MetroTown, held July 21 to 26, is a sleepaway camp offered by the Miami Coalition of Christians and Jews and hosted by St. Thomas University in Miami Gardens.

Democrats Trigger Lawmaker Poll On Stand Your Ground Special Session

Aug 13, 2013
Bar Jack / Flickr

The Florida Secretary of State's office will begin polling members of the Legislature to find out if there is enough support to hold a special session to decide the fate of the state's controversial "stand your ground" law.

Florida Sheriffs: Keep 'Stand Your Ground' As Written

Aug 9, 2013
Gerardo Mora

The Florida Sheriffs Association is no longer neutral on the state's controversial "stand your ground" law.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, the new president of the association, announced Friday that members agreed earlier this week without opposition to support the law "as currently written."

"Our current judicial system is comprised of multiple checks and balances to ensure fair and equitable application of all laws, including 'stand your ground,' " Judd said in a prepared statement.

Florida House To Hold Hearing On 'Stand Your Ground'

Aug 2, 2013

A House subcommittee will look into the state's controversial "stand your ground" law, but its chairman said he doesn't intend to support any changes.

House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, has directed Criminal Justice Subcommittee Chairman Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, to hold a hearing on the law during a committee week this fall.

In the two weeks since George Zimmerman's acquittal, the same activists galvanized by his trial are finding it hard to focus the energy of the Trayvon Martin movement.

For 16 months, supporters of the Justice for Trayvon movement rallied behind a common goal: Make sure Zimmerman, the man who killed Trayvon Martin, stood before the bar of justice.

But after Zimmerman's trial and acquittal, that united front has splintered.

Zimmerman Juror: He 'Got Away With Murder'

Jul 25, 2013

In an interview with ABC News, the only minority in the all-female jury that acquitted George Zimmerman with the killing of Trayvon Martin said Zimmerman "got away with murder."

"You can't put the man in jail even though in our hearts we felt he was guilty," said Juror B29, who identified herself as Maddy. "But we had to grab our hearts and put it aside and look at the evidence."

The 36-year-old mother of eight is Puerto Rican and had recently moved to Sanford from Chicago.

Phillip Agnew was blindsided by the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. The decision came down late on a Saturday night. Agnew was expecting the neighborhood watchman who killed Trayvon Martin to be found guilty.

Agnew, 28, leads a group of young activists called the Dream Defenders, which formed in Florida last year in the weeks following Trayvon's shooting death. It was one of the many groups that sprouted up in cities across the country in response to the shooting.

Two polls released Monday revealed a dramatic racial gap in public opinion surrounding the Trayvon Martin case, with notable disparities on issues ranging from reaction to the verdict to the need for a national discussion on race.

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