(Photo of Trayvon Martin released to the public by his family.)
(Photo of Trayvon Martin released to the public by his family.)

INSTITUTE INDEX: A year after Trayvon Martin's death, little has changed on 'stand your ground'

Date on which Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old African-American youth, was shot and killed in Sanford, Fla. by George Zimmerman, a volunteer neighborhood watchman who claimed self-defense under the state's "Stand Your Ground" law, even though Zimmerman ignored the instructions of a police dispatcher and pursued the unarmed teen: 2/26/2012

Number of days later that Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi appointed a special prosecutor to handle the case after growing public outcry over the fact that Zimmerman, who is Hispanic, had not been charged with any crime and remained free: 25

Number of days after her appointment that the special prosecutor announced second-degree murder charges and Zimmerman surrendered to authorities: 20

Date of the special hearing on which a judge will decide whether Zimmerman is immune from prosecution under the "stand your ground" defense: 4/22/2013

According to a Tampa Bay Times analysis of nearly 200 Florida "stand your ground" cases, percent where invoking the "stand your ground" defense has allowed the shooter to go free: 70

Percent of those who killed a white person who successfully used the "stand your ground" defense: 59

Of those who killed a black person: 73

Portion of cases studied in which the defendants initiated the fight, shot an unarmed person, or pursued their victim: nearly 1/3

Date on which a task force commissioned by Florida Gov. Rick Scott released the results of its study into the controversial statute, which Martin's family wants amended to make it harder for someone who initiates a confrontation to claim self-defense: 2/22/2013

Number of changes to the law the task force recommended: 0

Number of the two dozen states which have adopted such laws that have repealed them in the wake of Trayvon Martin's death: 0

Factor by which the number of concealed weapons permits have increased in Florida since "stand your ground" became law in 2005: 3

Number of such permits now held by Floridians: 1.1 million

(Click on figure to go to source.)

(Photo of Trayvon Martin released to the public by his family.)
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And why does anyone wonder

And why does anyone wonder that the "stand your ground' laws remain in place? The reason is simple.

Our Bill of Rights gives each and every one of us the right to protect ourselves and properties with deadly force when threatened.

Law enforcement, such as the police/sheriffs, are extensions of the peoples' right to create such organizations to provide more extensive enforcement of laws and protection allowing most citizens to perform their work and live their lives without having to stay at home 24/7365 to protect their castles. These laws are of & by & for the people...the police/sheriffs did not come before the citizens created these organizations.

Citizens never surrendered any rights to the police/sheriffs, just specifically delegated some powers to them to enforce our laws when we have other obligations.

"Stand your ground" is as old as the caveman standing in front of his cave with his neighbors to keep others from harming their families and stealing their possessions from thier homes.

I will not let others hurt my Family, Friends or me, nor allow others to steal my life's work which I sacrificed the days & years of my irreplaceable time in order to have a secure & safe home.

Stand your ground and be wise!

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