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.
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.
Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 11:30 am
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Originally published on Fri July 26, 2013 11:24 am
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.
Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 11:09 am
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.