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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

"Stand your ground" Fla tally: 130 cases since '05, 70% fatal

23

March

The controversial law that police have cited in their decision not to charge the man who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin has been invoked at least 130 times statewide since 2005.

A Tampa Bay Times survey, compiled from 31 Florida newspapers and public records, shows that the number of cases in which "stand your ground" has been invoked has climbed dramatically in the past year and a half. The analysis shows that police and prosecutors continue to apply the law unevenly.

As pressure mounts to charge George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who ignored police advice not to confront the unarmed teen on Feb. 26, Gov. Rick Scott announced he would convene a task force to study the law. No group keeps a tally of cases in which Florida Statute 776.013 (3) — commonly known as the "stand your ground" law — is invoked.

The law expands a citizen's right to use deadly force anywhere that he has a right to be if he "reasonably believes" it is necessary to stop another person from killing or hurting him badly.

The Times analysis shows that more than 70 percent of the 130 cases involved a fatality.

In the majority of the cases, the person who plunged the knife or swung the bat or pulled the trigger did not face a trial.

Story here

[Last modified: Friday, March 23, 2012 12:46am]

    

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