In 2005, Florida became the first state in the nation to pass a “Stand Your Ground” law. In 2012, George Zimmerman shot and murdered 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida. The jury’s shocking “not guilty” verdict, highly influenced by Florida’s new law, brought the murder of Trayvon Martin and the racial injustices of Stand Your Ground laws around the country to national attention.
Since then, studies have shown that Stand Your Ground increases inequalities and endangers citizens by intensifying racial & gender inequality and increasing homicide rates. Female defendants are twice as likely to be convicted as male defendants, and white defendants using Stand Your Ground are more likely to be acquitted than black defendants. Data shows approximately 250 Floridians are killed each year due to SYG laws. That’s 1 person every 35 hours.
Florida’s Stand Your Ground law is among the worst in the country because it not only allows individuals to use deadly force in public places like supermarkets, hospitals, and even schools, it also provides unprecedented legal immunity from civil lawsuits. And unlike any other self-defense law on the books, the burden of proof is on the prosecution rather than the defendant.
Let’s be clear, Stand Your Ground isn’t about keeping our streets safe and repealing it isn’t about gun control. Repealing Stand Your Ground is about saving hundreds of Floridians’ lives every year, and protecting our most vulnerable citizens.
Click here to sign our Change.org Petition, and check out our separate Repeal Stand Your Ground Facebook page to find out about upcoming meetings and events.