Two Georgia Democrats, inspired by outrage over the death of Trayvon Martin in Florida, said they will introduce legislation Tuesday to repeal Georgia's 'Stand Your Ground' law.
Martin, 17, was killed Feb. 26 in the Florida city of Sanford during a struggle with George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer. Zimmerman has not been charged. He claimed he shot the teenager in self-defense.
Like in Florida, the law in Georgia states that law-abiding citizens who feel their lives are threatened do not have a duty to retreat.
Inspired by the thousands of demonstrators - mostly college students from Atlanta's historically black colleges and universities - who gathered Monday at the Georgia capitol, State Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan, D-Austell, and State Rep. Rashad Taylor, D-Atlanta, told the crowd they will file legislation to repeal Georgia's law.
Filing the bill will be largely a ceremonial gesture. The deadline is long past for new bills to survive the 2012 legislative session. Tuesday is the 39th day of the 40-day session. But the lawmakers said they wanted to at least begin the conversation, perhaps for further debate next year.
"There were thousands of people here yesterday, and you can't be silent as an elected official," said Morgan.
The man who crafted Georgia's 'Stand Your Ground' law, State Sen. Greg Goggans, R-Douglas, said the people who want it repealed don't understand its intent.
"This just says if a person is being attacked, they can take action to protect themselves," said Goggans. "But this isn't to give a cart blanche 'get-out-of-jail-free' card. The judicial system and the legal system still takes its course."
Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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