U.S. Senators Bicker Over Stand Your Ground As Parents Of Travyon Martin, Jordan Davis Testify
The families of two teenage shooting victims whose cases have become critical in the debate over Florida's controversial "Stand Your Ground" law are in Washington today.
Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, and Lucia McBath, mother of Jordan Davis testified this morning at a hearing before a subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary.
At least 22 states have some form of the law, which generally cancels a person's duty to retreat in the face of a serious physical threat.
U.S. Senate Republicans and Democrats debated the merits of the laws, with Democrats urging a review and Republicans saying the policy is a matter of self-defense.
Sen. Dick Durbin opened today's hearing of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary's Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights by saying the laws have been abused and urging Congress to consider how the policy would affect other gun legislation. Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz said the laws make possible the right to self defense.
Trayvon Martin was shot and killed on Feb. 26, 2012 by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in Sanford. Zimmerman was found not guilty of second-degree murder after claiming the shooting was justifiable under the "Stand Your Ground" statute.
Only about nine months later on Nov. 23 in Jacksonville, Jordan Davis was shot and killed at a city gas station by 45-year-old Michael Dunn after an argument over loud music. Dunn is in custody awaiting trial on a first-degree murder charge. Lucia McBath, mother of Jordan Davis, testified before the hearing.
Both Martin and Davis were 17-years-old at the time of their deaths.