Eric Holder tells NAACP he will examine states’ ‘stand your ground’ laws

July 17, 2013

U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Tuesday vowed to take a “hard look” at a new generation of “stand your ground” self-defense laws enacted in Florida and nearly two dozen other states, although legal analysts predicted he would face an uphill fight in repealing the statutes.

Speaking three days after the acquittal of former neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in the shooting death of black teenager Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla., Mr. Holder told the annual gathering of the NAACP in nearby Orlando that the “stand your ground” statutes can “undermine public safety” and “victimize too many who are innocent.”

“It’s time to question laws that senselessly expand the concept of self-defense and sow dangerous conflict in our neighborhoods,” Mr. Holder said, winning repeated applause from the NAACP delegates. “These laws try to fix something that was never broken.”

Although Mr. Zimmerman’s attorneys did not rely on Florida’s broad “stand your ground” law in their defense, the verdict has focused intense scrutiny of such statutes.
Singer Stevie Wonder has weighed in by vowing not to perform in any state with a “stand your ground” law on the books.

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