Reconsidering "Stand Your Ground"

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POSTED: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 7:00pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 7:09pm

Trayvon Martin's mother testifies before Senate panel examining "Stand Your Ground" laws in 22 states. Chris Clackum reports.

(NBC News) Trayvon Martin's mother told congress today that stand-your-ground laws don't work.

Sybrina Fulton swears that stand-your-ground-laws are doing more harm than good.

Her son, Trayvon, was shot and killed last year in Florida in what became the most infamous test of the law.

"I just wanted to come here to let you know how important it is that we amend this stand your ground because it certainly did not work in my case," Fulton said.

She testified before a Senate committee Tuesday, just months after George Zimmerman was acquitted.

"The person that shot and killed my son is walking the streets today and this law doesn't work," said Fulton.

The law not working was the theme of the hearing with democrats like Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois wanting federal review in the 30 states that have it.

"It is clearly time for stand-your-ground laws to be carefully reviewed and reconsidered. Whatever the motivation beyond them, it's clear these laws often go too far in encouraging confrontations that escalate into deadly violence," Durbin said.
But republicans like Senator Ted Cruz of Texas say stand-your-ground is an extension of a fundamental right.

"Self-defense is a bedrock of liberty of every American. This is not a new concept," said Cruz.

Cruz also said the matter should be left up to the states.

"This is not about politicking. This is not about inflaming racial tensions. This is about the right of everyone to protect themselves and protect their families."

The hearing took another emotional turn when Lucia McBath testified.

Her 17 year old unarmed son, Jordan, was also shot and killed last year by someone claiming to stand their ground.

"Even the wild west had more stringent laws governing the taking of life than we have now," said McBath.

But even with this hearing, stand your ground is likely to stand "as-is" because election season is just months away.

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