Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 131535
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File Number: 131535 File Type: Resolution Status: Failed
Version: 0 Reference: Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: REPEAL THE STAND YOUR GROUND LAW Introduced: 8/1/2013
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 9/4/2013
Agenda Date: 9/4/2013 Agenda Item Number: 11A20
Notes: Title: RESOLUTION URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO REPEAL FLORIDA’S ''STAND YOUR GROUND'' LAW; URGING GOVERNOR RICK SCOTT TO CALL OR ALTERNATIVELY THE SENATE PRESIDENT AND THE HOUSE SPEAKER TO CONVENE A SPECIAL SESSION TO IMMEDIATELY REPEAL FLORIDA’S ''STAND YOUR GROUND'' LAW
Indexes: URGING
Sponsors: Barbara J. Jordan, Prime Sponsor
  Audrey M. Edmonson, Co-Sponsor
  Jean Monestime, Co-Sponsor
  Dennis C. Moss, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 9/4/2013 11A20 Adopted F
REPORT: County Attorney Robert Cuevas read the foregoing proposed resolution into the record. It was moved by Commissioner Jordan that the foregoing proposed resolution be adopted as presented. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Moss, followed by discussion. Commissioner Heyman expressed concern with the language in this resolution requesting a special session of the Legislature and commented on the cost for special sessions. She pointed out that the language requested to not urge the Legislature to address this issue during the upcoming committee meetings and stated she could not support this item as written. Commissioner Bell stated she would vote no on this item. Commissioner Zapata indicated he felt resolutions that contained phrases like “repeal the “Stand Your Ground” law in special session” would not reflect a positive light on the County and suggested the Legislature be asked to review the law. He noted he would vote no on this item. Chairwoman Sosa noted she could not support this item as currently written and reiterated the request for a special session, adding that the County and the State lacked funding to balance their budgets. She concurred with Commissioner Zapata’s suggestion that the Legislature be urged to review the law rather than repeal it. Commissioner Jordan reminded her colleagues that special sessions had been held during the Legislature’s regular session at no additional cost. She explained that she sponsored this item based on the verdict in the Treyvon Martin case, which confused the issue of using self-defense with that of standing your ground. She stated that she would continue supporting this issue. Commissioner Heyman clarified the issue regarding costs for special sessions and the process for scheduling business according to the Legislature’s calendar. Commissioner Moss noted this item urged, rather than demanded the Legislature call a special session and consider repealing the Stand Your Ground law. He stated the amount of turmoil experienced with regard to the Treyvon Martin case revealed that the law needed to be reviewed, which the Legislature stated would be done. Commissioner Moss indicated he believed this item would serve to symbolize how important it was to the County that this law be reviewed and expressed his support. Chairwoman Sosa noted she would support this item if it was amended to replace the word “repeal” with the word “review” and to replace the language “special session” with the language “next available session.” Commissioner Jordan did not accept Chairwoman Sosa’s proposed amendment. There being no further questions or comments, the Board proceeded to vote on the foregoing proposed resolution as presented.

County Attorney 8/1/2013 Assigned Jess M. McCarty 8/2/2013

Legislative Text



TITLE
RESOLUTION URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO REPEAL FLORIDA’S “STAND YOUR GROUND” LAW; URGING GOVERNOR RICK SCOTT TO CALL OR ALTERNATIVELY THE SENATE PRESIDENT AND THE HOUSE SPEAKER TO CONVENE A SPECIAL SESSION TO IMMEDIATELY REPEAL FLORIDA’S “STAND YOUR GROUND” LAW

BODY
WHEREAS, Trayvon Martin, a 17 year old African-American resident of MiamiDade County, was needlessly shot and killed by George Zimmerman on February 26, 2012 in Sanford, Florida; and
WHEREAS, George Zimmerman disregarded instructions by a police dispatcher to stop following Trayvon Martin, who was unarmed and holding a bag of Skittles candy at the time of the incident; and
WHEREAS, following the shooting, police questioned Zimmerman but did not arrest him based in part on Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law; and
WHEREAS, six weeks later Zimmerman was arrested and charged with murder; and
WHEREAS, on July 13, 2013, a jury found Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges; and
WHEREAS, currently federal officials are reviewing whether to charge Zimmerman with violating Martin's civil rights; and
WHEREAS, in 2005, the Florida Legislature enacted the “Stand Your Ground” Law, codified at Section 776.013(3), Florida Statutes; and
WHEREAS, Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law provides that a person has
no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony; and

WHEREAS, a media analysis last year showed that Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law had been invoked at least 130 times since its passage in 2005; and
WHEREAS, more than 70 percent of those cases resulted in a fatality and a majority of the cases involving a fatality did not result in criminal charges being filed; and
WHEREAS, while George Zimmerman did not assert the “Stand Your Ground” law as a defense in the trial, the Trayvon Martin shooting has tragically brought national attention to the issues inherent with Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law; and
WHEREAS, the language of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law is overly broad and inconsistently applied thereby creating difficulties for law enforcement officers and state attorneys to investigate and prosecute incidents when the “Stand Your Ground” law is raised as a defense; and
WHEREAS, at the time of the enactment of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law in 2005, the National District Attorneys Association, the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association and various state attorneys and police chiefs warned of the dangers associated with the law; and
WHEREAS, there is an urgent need for the Florida Legislature to review the “Stand Your Ground” law before further lives are lost; and
WHEREAS, repeal of this law is required to effectively ensure that all citizens are entitled to feel safe and protected and that similar tragedies do not occur; and
WHEREAS, a special session of the Florida Legislature may be called by the Governor or alternatively, a special session may be convened by a joint proclamation of the Senate President and the House Speaker; and
WHEREAS, dozens of people have been demonstrating at Governor Rick Scott's office in Tallahassee, demanding that he call a special session to repeal or modify Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law; and
WHEREAS, this Board would like to urge Governor Rick Scott to call or alternatively the Senate President and House Speaker to convene, a special session to immediately repeal the “Stand Your Ground” Law,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that this Board:
Section 1. Urges the Florida Legislature to repeal the “Stand Your Ground” Law.
Section 2. Urges Governor Rick Scott to call or alternatively the Senate President and House Speaker to convene a special session to immediately repeal the “Stand Your Ground” Law.
Section 3. Directs the Clerk of the Board to transmit certified copies of the resolution to the Governor, the Senate President, the House Speaker, and the Chair and Members of the Miami-Dade State Legislative Delegation.
Section 4. Directs the County’s state lobbyists to advocate for the issues identified in Section 1 and 2 above, and authorizes and directs the Officer of Intergovernmental Affairs to amend the 2013 state legislative package to include this item and to include this item in the 2014 state legislative package when it is presented to the Board.



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