Lawsuit filed challenges Georgia's 'Stand Your Ground' law
'Stand your ground' laws continue to come under heavy scrutiny
On Monday afternoon in Florida, a special prosecutor said she would continue to investigate the Trayvon Martin shooting death case, but that she would not take it before a grand jury. That means prosecutor Angela Corey’s office alone will determine whether to charge neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman with a crime.
The 17-year-old Martin, who was unarmed, was shot and killed by Zimmerman, in his Sanford, Fla., subdivision as he returned home from purchasing Skittles on Feb. 26.
Zimmerman said he shot Martin in self-defense and Sanford police cited the state’s "stand your ground" law, which allows citizens in imminent danger to “stand their ground” and fight back instead of retreating, as the reason Zimmerman wasn’t arrested.
Georgia also allows citizens to use deadly force in self-defense, and on Monday, a local civil rights activist indicated he would file a legal challenge against the state’s 'stand your ground' law.
Rev. Markel Hutchins posted on his Facebook page Monday: “Friends and supporters are welcomed to join me and others as we gather in solidarity at 2:45pm (EST) today front of the Richard B. Russell Federal Building, 75 Spring Street, Atlanta, GA, 30303 to file a historic civil/constitutional rights lawsuit in the U.S. District Court - Northern District of Georgia - Atlanta Division, against the State of Georgia for its "Stand Your Ground" law. Georgia has a statute comparable to the controversial Florida law at the center of the Trayvon Martin tragedy.”
Georgia’s version of he law, SB 396, was passed in 2006. It was enacted to allow a person the "justification and excuse as a defense to certain crimes, so as to provide that a person who is attacked has no duty to retreat; to provide that such person has a right to meet force with force, including deadly force; to provide for an immunity from prosecution; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes."
There’s little doubt that 'stand your ground' laws have come under heavy scrutiny in recent weeks. Last week, Midtown-based Coca-Cola Co. ended its membership with the conservative nonprofit group, American Legislative Exchange Council, because the lobbying group had recently backed controversial 'stand your ground' and voter ID laws.
Do you think Georgia's "Stand Your Ground" law should be repealed?