Florida House Speaker Plans Hearing on Stand Your Ground Law

By  //  August 5, 2013

ABOVE VIDEO: Florida house speaker Will Weatherford wants a legislative hearing to review the state’s Stand Your Ground law. Video courtesy of ABC 27.

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — In a guest editorial for the Tampa Tribune, Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford called for a special hearing on the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law. 

Weatherford. Photo courtesy of myfloridahouse.gov
Weatherford. Photo courtesy of myfloridahouse.gov

Weatherford insists he isn’t in favor of repealing the law, but he hopes to see the law clarified to prevent improper administration of the law. Excerpts from his editorial are posted below.

Since 2000, violent crime has declined by more than 30 percent, benefiting Floridians of all races,”Weatherford said. “Florida has seen one of the steepest drops in violent crime rates compared to other states over the same time frame.”

“One of the laws passed during that time period is commonly known as “Stand Your Ground.” I was not in the Florida Legislature when the bill became law with bipartisan support, but as the current speaker of the House, I have been asked to repeal it. “Asked” is a generous term considering the threats of boycotts, union-sponsored protesters overtaking the governor’s office and Hollywood elites disparaging our state and threatening the livelihood of hard-working Floridians.”

“The fact is, George Zimmerman’s attorneys did not use “Stand Your Ground” in his defense, a detail that protesters and critics have incorrectly ignored. Nevertheless, in the wake of the Zimmerman case, “Stand Your Ground” has been challenged.”

“Across Florida, representatives are receiving calls, letters, visits and emails from constituents with diverse opinions on “Stand Your Ground.” Stories are varied and passions are high, but every person has the right to express their views on this matter of great importance.”

“Second, we must look at the facts. I have asked the chair of our Criminal Justice Subcommittee to hold a hearing this fall on “Stand Your Ground.” Our evaluation of its effectiveness should be guided by objective information, not by political expediency. Does the law keep the innocent safer? Is it being applied fairly? Are there ways we can make this law clearer and more understandable?”

“These are appropriate questions that should be asked and answered.”


RELATED STORY: Poll: 56% of Floridians Support Stand Your Ground Law