Florida's Sheriffs Association Backs State's Stand Your Ground Law
Earlier this week, Florida’s Sheriffs Association voted to support the state’s Stand Your Ground law in the aftermath of the George Zimmerman Trial.
The association’s new president, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, announced it agreed to support the law without opposition as written. Tuesday’s voice vote came with 57 Sheriffs in attendance.
This is the first public stance the association has taken on the law since it was first passed in 2005. Sheriff Judd said in a prepared statement, "Our current judicial system is comprised of multiple checks and balances to ensure fair and equitable application of all laws, including 'stand your grounds.'”
The Florida Sheriffs Association vote comes on the heels of the acquittal verdict in the George Zimmerman trial in which he was charged with 2nd degree murder of Trayvon Martin. Many opponents of the verdict claim that Florida’s Stand Your Ground law made it impossible for the state to convict Mr. Zimmerman at trial, even though his legal team did not use the law in his defense at trail.
The Sheriffs Association stance comes in the wake of Governor Rick Scott’s opposition to repeal the law and at the request of Florida’s House Speaker Will Weatherford (R-Wesley Chapel) and Attorney General Pam Bondi, who both wanted to know law enforcement's stance on the law.
A group calling itself "Dream Defenders" have been demanding a special session of the State Legislation with the express purpose of repealing the law. On Friday, 28 state lawmakers, all Democrats, filed petitions with the Department of State requesting a special session on the law in an effort to go around Governor Scott and the legislative leadership.