News Section: State Government
Task Force's Final Report Supports Stand Your Ground Law
FLORIDA – A 19-member task force commissioned by Florida Governor Rick Scott to review the state's controversial Stand Your Ground law has issued its final report, declaring mostly support for the law. Despite a handful of recommendations to the state legislature, it essentially stated that the law is nonetheless fine as is.
“All persons who are conducting themselves in a lawful manner have a fundamental right to stand their ground and defend themselves from attack with proportionate force in every place they have a lawful right to be,” the report states.
The law, which has gained national notoriety after being invoked in multiple, high-profile cases, gives immunity to citizens who use lethal force in response to a perceived threat of bodily harm, without requiring that they first attempt to retreat or flea.
The task force was chaired by Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll and included two legislators who had drafted the Stand Your Ground law, as well as other supporters. They held statewide public hearings as part of the process, though opponents of the law criticized the composition of the panel and said that by filling it with supporters, the result was all but predetermined.
Recommendations by the panel to the legislature included looking at the state’s 10-20-Life law, tightening standards for neighborhood watch groups, clarification as to what happens when an innocent bystander is accidentally caught in the crossfire or whether the law shields shooters from being detained or questioned, and a study to look into racial disparities and unintended consequences of the law.