Lawmaker Seeks to Repeal 'Stand Your Ground' Law
State legislator introduces change to SC's Stand Your Ground law In the wake of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin's death.
The killing of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old unarmed teenager in Sanford, Fla., has moved state Rep. Bakari Sellers, D-Bamberg, to introduce legislation calling for the repeal of the South Carolina's Stand Your Ground law.
On Feb. 26, Martin, carrying a drink and a bag of Skittles while walking to the house of his father’s fiancée in Sanford, was shot by neighborhood watch member, George Zimmerman.
Zimmerman reportedly told police he shot Martin in self-defense, making his actions protected under Florida's Stand Your Ground law. He has not been charged.
Under that law, which was adopted in 2005, Florida residents can use deadly force — regardless of their location — against a someone if he or she believes there is imminent danger and does not have to retreat.
In section 776.012 of the Florida State Statutes:
" a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if:
(1) He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony"
On Thursday, Sellers announced on his Twitter account that he had introduced legislation to repeal the South Carolina's Stand Your Ground law.
In Section 16-11-440 of the "Protection of Persons and Property Act" it reads:
"A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in another place where he has a right to be, including, but not limited to, his place of business, has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force, if he reasonably believes it is necessary to prevent death or great bodily injury to himself or another person or to prevent the commission of a violent crime as defined in Section 16-1-60."
Sellers is seeking to repeal that portion.
"It could be me walking up to you with a sweet tea and skittles as young Trayvon was, maybe with a hoodie on, and you feel threatened -- you can't just shoot me," Sellers said in a WLTX report. "You have to do everything you can to retreat, you can't actually chase me down and kill me."
The legislation does not change the state's Castle Doctrine, which deals with one's protection of his or her home.