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State News

July 24, 2013

Some lawmakers favor 'stand your ground' repeal

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — At least two members of the Alabama Legislature say they will introduce bills in the next year seeking to repeal Alabama's "stand your ground" law.

Democratic Sen. Hank Sanders of Selma and Rep. Alvin Holmes of Montgomery say they think the Trayvon Martin case in Florida shows the need to repeal the law.

"There will be an effort in the Legislature to repeal it," Sanders said. "It needs to be repealed.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Alabama is one of 21 states that has "stand your ground" laws.

Alabama's law says that people who face danger can defend themselves and don't have to retreat.

Another legislator, Democratic Rep. Merika Coleman-Evans of Midfield, plans to introduce a bill that says a person can't stand his or her ground if he or she was the aggressor.

Sanders says he favors "a complete repeal," but would consider the bill proposed by Coleman-Evans.

Democratic Rep. Alvin Holmes of Montgomery says he also plans to introduce a bill to repeal the "stand your ground" law.

Sanders' news conference was held at the same time a group of teens was holding a mock legislative session at the Statehouse. One of the mock bills the teens were considering was a measure to repeal the "stand your ground" law.

Lorenza Crews, an 18-year-old from Marion, said he doesn't see how a "stand your ground" law could have applied to George Zimmerman, who was found innocent of killing Martin.

"It's not stand your ground if you pursue someone," Crews said. "I don't want to be shot just because I am coming back from the store."

Republican Gov. Robert Bentley said he supported the measure when he was in the Legislature. If there is an effort to repeal the legislation, Bentley said, "I'm going to leave that up to the Legislature if they feel any changes need to be made."

Republican Sen. Bryan Taylor of Prattville said he would vote against repealing the law,

He said the Legislature does not need to be rolling back the right for citizens to defend themselves.

 

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