Legislator: Trayvon Martin case doesn't appear to apply to Stand Your Ground law I wrote

by Rep. Dennis Baxley

The tragic story of Trayvon Martin's death in Sanford, Florida has ignited a great deal of passion and concern regarding the circumstances of his death and the defense applied by the attacker, George Zimmerman. The fact that Trayvon Martin unnecessarily lost his life is troubling and an investigation into the surrounding circumstances is certainly warranted.

First of all I'd like to extend my condolences to the Martin family. I have been in the funeral services profession for over 40 years; I've walked with families through many tragic circumstances and I know how difficult it is.

I would like to emphasize that the approach that is currently developing in this situation, to convene a grand jury, is the proper one in which to discern the facts of this case. I certainly agree with everyone that justice must be served.

During the debate concerning this incident, some have brought into question the "Stand Your Ground" law, more commonly referred to as the "castle doctrine," which has been used by the attacker to pardon his actions.

As the prime sponsor of this legislation in the Florida House, I'd like to clarify that this law does not seem to be applicable to the tragedy that happened in Sanford. There is nothing in the castle doctrine as found in Florida statutes that authenticates or provides for the opportunity to pursue and confront individuals, it simply protects those who would be potential victims by allowing for force to be used in self-defense.

Click here to read the entire op-ed at FoxNews.com.

Additional Information:
Trayvon Martin shooting: New details emerge from Twitter account, witness testimony

Trayvon Martin: Opportunity for Anti-Rights Media to Attack Self-Defense Laws

'Stand Your Ground': What's the self-defense law near you?

"Florida laws specifically says that the Castle Doctrine or the 'Stand Your Ground" legislation, enacted anywhere that you're legally allowed to be, whether that's in your home or your automobile, your business, walking down the street, sitting in the park," said Joe Eaton, Southwestern Ohio leader for the Buckeye Firearms Association.

In Ohio, that protection only exists inside your home. In a situation like the one that happened in Florida, you have a duty to flee.

...However, Eaton said that you still have the right to defend yourself outside of your home in Ohio, but you have to prove self-defense.

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