Trayvon Martin’s Mother Tells Senate Panel ‘Stand Your Ground’ Laws Don’t Work

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 29: Sybrina Fulton of Miami, Fla., mother of Trayvon Martin, testifies during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on 'Stand Your Ground' laws October 29, 2013 in Washington, DC. The committee heard testimony on ''Stand Your Ground' Laws: Civil Rights and Public Safety Implications of the Expanded Use of Deadly Force.'
National Journal
Elahe Izad
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Elahe Izad
Oct. 29, 2013, 9:24 a.m.

Sy­brina Fulton, the moth­er of slain teen­ager Trayvon Mar­tin, told a Sen­ate pan­el Tues­day that Flor­ida’s “Stand Your Ground” law “cer­tainly did not work in my case.”

“The per­son that shot and killed my son is walk­ing the streets today,” Fulton said. At one point, she choked back tears when talk­ing about how her son was fatally shot as he walked to the store for snacks. In her pre­pared testi­mony, she asked that Stand Your Ground laws be cla­ri­fied “so that they are ap­plied lo­gic­ally and most im­port­antly, con­sist­ently.”

The Sen­ate Ju­di­ciary Sub­com­mit­tee on the Con­sti­tu­tion hear­ing con­vened by Chair­man Dick Durbin, D-Ill., had ori­gin­ally been slated for Septem­ber but was post­poned be­cause of the prox­im­ity in time to the Navy Yard shoot­ing.

Law­yers for George Zi­m­mer­man, the man ac­quit­ted in the death of Trayvon Mar­tin, didn’t cite Stand Your Ground laws in their de­fense, but many point to jury in­struc­tions in the case that state Zi­m­mer­man “had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force” if he be­lieved it was needed to pre­vent death or “great bod­ily harm.”

Tues­day’s hear­ing rep­res­en­ted a now rare mo­ment for gun laws to come in­to con­gres­sion­al fo­cus, even as no le­gis­la­tion is pending be­fore the House or Sen­ate. Durbin said that such laws dis­pro­por­tion­ately harm Afric­an-Amer­ic­ans.

But sub­com­mit­tee rank­ing mem­ber Ted Cruz, R-Texas, bristled at that, say­ing black de­fend­ants com­monly use Stand Your Ground laws in their de­fense and charged that the death of Mar­tin was be­ing ex­ploited for polit­ic­al pur­poses.

Cruz told Fulton that he re­cog­nizes she is “simply mourn­ing the loss of your son, but there are oth­er play­ers who are seek­ing to do a great deal more.”

What We're Following See More »
TRUMP CONTINUES TO LAWYER UP
Kasowitz Out, John Dowd In
8 hours ago
THE LATEST

As the Russia investigation heats up, "the role of Marc E. Kasowitz, the president’s longtime New York lawyer, will be significantly reduced. Mr. Trump liked Mr. Kasowitz’s blunt, aggressive style, but he was not a natural fit in the delicate, politically charged criminal investigation. The veteran Washington defense lawyer John Dowd will take the lead in representing Mr. Trump for the Russia inquiry."

Source:
ALSO INQUIRES ABOUT PARDON POWER
Trump Looking to Discredit Mueller
8 hours ago
THE LATEST

President Trump's attorneys are "actively compiling a list of Mueller’s alleged potential conflicts of interest, which they say could serve as a way to stymie his work." They plan to argued that Mueller is going outside the scope of his investigation, in inquiring into Trump's finances. They're also playing small ball, highlighting "donations to Democrats by some of" Mueller's team, and "an allegation that Mueller and Trump National Golf Club in Northern Virginia had a dispute over membership fees when Mueller resigned as a member in 2011." Trump is said to be incensed that Mueller may see his tax returns, and has been asking about his power to pardon his family members.

Source:
INCLUDES NY PROBE INTO MANAFORT
Why Yes, Mueller Is Looking into Trump Businesses
13 hours ago
THE LATEST

In addition to ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, Robert Mueller's team is also "examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates, according to a person familiar with the probe. FBI investigators and others are looking at Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development in New York with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008, the person said. The investigation also has absorbed a money-laundering probe begun by federal prosecutors in New York into Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort."

Source:
Mueller Expands Probe to Trump Business Transactions
19 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team is "is examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates", including "Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008."

Source:
ANALYSIS FROM CBO
32 Million More Uninsured by 2026 if Obamacare Repealed
21 hours ago
THE LATEST

"A Senate bill to gut Obamacare would increase the number of uninsured people by 32 million and double premiums on Obamacare's exchanges by 2026, according to an analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The analysis is of a bill that passed Congress in 2015 that would repeal Obamacare's taxes and some of the mandates. Republicans intend to leave Obamacare in place for two years while a replacement is crafted and implemented."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login