“These laws try to fix something that was never broken,” Holder said in a previously-scheduled speech to the NAACP convention in Orlando that marked the Obama administration’s first new policy announcement since neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman was acquitted last weekend in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
“By allowing and perhaps encouraging violent situations to escalate in public, such laws undermine public safety,” he said.
More than 30 states have passed Stand Your Ground laws, which eliminate the duty to retreat before using deadly force in self defense.
The doctrine has long been recognized across the country with respect to home invasions. But the new laws expand the concept — doing away with the duty to retreat in a variety of other venues. The Florida law authorizes an individual to use deadly force as self defense “in any…place he or she has a right to be.”
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