Gov announces task-force to examine 'Stand Your Ground' - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Florida gov names 'Stand Your Ground' task force

Florida Gov. Rick Scott. (Source: Rick Scott) Florida Gov. Rick Scott. (Source: Rick Scott)
A man in Washington holds a sign protesting 'Stand Your Ground' laws on March 29. (Source: LaDawna Howard) A man in Washington holds a sign protesting 'Stand Your Ground' laws on March 29. (Source: LaDawna Howard)

TALLAHASSEE, FL (RNN) - Weeks after public outrage over the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin erupted into calls to repeal Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, Gov. Rick Scott announced who would be tasked with reviewing the law.

Those selected for the Task Force on Citizens Safety and Protection are:

>Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll.
>Rev. R. B. Holmes Jr., pastor of Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Tallahassee.
>Sheriff Larry Ashley, of Shalimar, Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office.
>State Rep. Dennis Baxley, of Ocala, Florida House of Representatives, District 24.
>Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Kenneth B. Bell, of Pensacola, shareholder with Clark Partington Hart Larry Bond and Stackhouse.
>State Rep. Jason Brodeur, of Sanford, Florida House of Representatives, District 33.
>Derek E. Bruce, of Orlando, attorney with Edge Public Affairs.
>Joseph A. Caimano Jr., of Tampa, criminal defense attorney with Caimano Law Group.
>Edna Canino, of Miami, president of the Florida Embassy of League of United Latin American Citizens, Council 7220.
>Gretchen Lorenzo, of Fort Myers, neighborhood watch coordinator for the Fort Myers Police Department.
>Judge Krista Marx, of West Palm Beach, Fifteenth Judicial Circuit of Florida.
>Maria Newman, of Melbourne, neighborhood watch volunteer with the City of Melbourne.
>Katherine Fernandez Rundle, of Miami, state attorney for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit.
>Stacy A. Scott, of Gainesville, public defender with the Eighth Judicial Circuit.
>Mark Seiden, of Miami, self-employed attorney.
>State Sen. David Simmons, of Altamonte Springs, Florida Senate, District 22.
>State Sen. Gary Siplin, of Orlando, Florida Senate, District 19.

In March, Scott announced that the task force will be led by Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll with Rev. R.B. Holmes, Jr., pastor of the Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Tallahassee, FL, serving as vice-chair. The group will convene after state attorney Angela Corey's investigation into the shooting wraps up.

The Task Force on Citizen Safety and Protection will look at "how to make sure a tragedy such as this does not occur in the future, while at the same time, protecting the fundamental rights of all our citizens - especially the right to feel protected and safe in our state," Scott said in March.

The Florida statute says a person is justified in using deadly force without first attempting to retreat when he or she "believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another, or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony."

Deadly force used in any public place, where a person is legally allowed to be, comes under the wing of "Stand Your Ground."

The Feb. 26 shooting death of Martin brought the controversial law under public scrutiny after police used it to partially justify why neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman, 28, was not arrested at the scene.

Zimmerman told officers he shot the unarmed teen in self-defense. On April 11, he was arrested and charged with second-degree murder.

It is unclear whether he will use Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law in his defense. Some lawmakers, including a group who took the law as "model legislation," have said the statue would probably not apply in Zimmerman's case.

"Stand Your Ground" laws exist in at least 26 states across the country.

On April 12, a national campaign called Second Chance on Shoot First was launched to repeal the laws.

On April 9, Florida State Sen. Chris Smith, D-Fort Lauderdale, spearheaded a separate task force, saying that the governor wasn't moving fast enough to address the problem.

The task force has tentatively scheduled its first meeting for Tuesday, May 1 in Tallahassee at the Florida Department of Transportation headquarters.

The group will develop a mission statement and establish locations for future meetings and public hearings during the meeting.

They will then "hold public hearings, take testimony, solicit ideas and review all matters related to the rights of all Floridians to feel safe and secure," according to a statement on a new citizen safety website created by Gov. Scott's  office.

Copyright 2012 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly