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Monday, August 12, 2013

Debating The Future Of Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law

Dream Defenders and their supporters protest Friday, July 26, 2013 outside Florida Gov. Rick Scott's office in the Capitol in Tallahassee, Fla. (Phil Sears/AP)

Dream Defenders and their supporters protest Friday, July 26, 2013 outside Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s office in the Capitol in Tallahassee, Fla. (Phil Sears/AP)

The activist group Dream Defenders has been occupying the Florida capital building for almost a month.

The group, which describes itself as “an organization directed by Black & Brown Youth, who confront systemic inequality by building our collective power,” is demanding that legislators repeal Florida’s “stand your ground” law.

Members of the group have been sleeping in the capital building since July 16th — three days after George Zimmerman was found not guilty in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, in Florida.

Governor Rick Scott hasn’t ordered the removal of the protesters, but he’s refused to call a special session of the legislature to debate the law.

However, Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford, a Republican, announced he’ll order hearings this fall on Florida’s self defense laws.

Weatherford has asked Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Republican and chair of the Criminal Justice Subcommittee, to chair the hearings.

Gaetz was quoted by the Tampa Bay Times as saying “I don’t support changing one damn comma of the ‘stand your ground’ law.”

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