LANSING (WWJ/AP) – More than a dozen Democratic Michigan House members have introduced legislation to repeal the state’s “stand your ground” self-defense law after the fatal shooting of Florida teen Trayvon Martin.
The lawmakers on Thursday announced the measure to repeal 2006 laws passed by bipartisan majorities in the Legislature and signed by then-Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm.
“Stand your ground allows people to take a position that they are not going to flee but that they are going to stay and fight, and that does not make sense to me,” said Fred Durhal, a Democrat representing Detroit.
Backers say such laws protect innocent lives. Detractors say they can become a license to kill and are prone to misuse.
“It gives people, it sort of deputizes them to use that kind of force in a situation where they’re confronted and they believe their life could be in danger. Now, belief about life being in danger is about as broad as you can get,” said Durhal.
Michigan is among several states with laws similar to Florida’s targeted by civil rights and anti-gun violence groups.
Neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman fatally shot Martin Feb. 28 in Sanford, Fla. Zimmerman, who was charged more than 40 days after Martin’s death, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder. He has invoked the law that doesn’t require a person to retreat in the face of a serious threat.
Florida’s law differs slightly from Michigan’s in that it has stronger provisions granting immunity from prosecution unless police believe the self-defense claim is false.
For complete coverage of the Trayvon Martin case, visit our sister site, CBSMiami.com.
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