A Florida panel tasked with examining the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law is unlikely to suggest that any major changes are needed, NPR reports. Since it was convened in May, members of the task force have held meetings around the state. Almost every time, they’ve heard impassioned testimony from people like David Boden, whose son, Jason, was killed in a shooting. Prosecutors in West Palm Beach told Boden that Florida’s Stand Your Ground law prevented them from filing charges against the shooter.
Even before the Trayvon Martin shooting cast a spotlight on the Stand Your Ground law, it was controversial. The law strengthened Florida’s statutes on self-defense by saying that when faced with death or great bodily harm, individuals could use deadly force and had no duty to retreat. It also says that people defending themselves are immune from arrest, detention, and prosecution. In hearings this week, task force members divided over that immunity provision. Defense attorneys say it protects residents who defend themselves from having to go through the expense and stress of a jury trial. Prosecutors and judges say it undermines public confidence when a case is dismissed before the facts are heard by a jury.