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TN Black Caucus Wants to Revisit ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law

News release from House Democratic Caucus:
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (July 17, 2013) – The Tennessee Black Caucus released the following statement in response to the not guilty verdict for George Zimmerman in the shooting death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida:
“This was a disappointing verdict that just goes to show we have a long way to go until all Americans enjoy true equal protection under the law,” said Rep. Larry Miller, Chairman of the Tennessee Black Caucus. “While we mourn and pray with the Martin family, we must also work hard to stop this from happening to innocent children here in Tennessee.”
On Sunday July 14, the National Black Caucus of State Legislators released a statement of support for the Martin family and reiterated the NBCSL opposition to so-called “stand your ground” laws across the country. In December of 2012, NBCSL ratified resolution LJE-13-06 “urging state legislatures that have adopted ‘Stand Your Ground’ or ‘Shoot First’ laws to reform or repeal them and we also support the review and investigation by the United States Department of Justice referencing the Zimmerman case.”

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Yes, We Have a ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law in Tennessee

By Sheila Burke, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee is one of at least 20 states that have the “Stand Your Ground” self-defense law that has been at the center of a national debate since a neighborhood watchman killed an unarmed black teenager in Florida last month.
The laws, which are sometimes called the “Make My Day” law or the “Shoot First” law, say people have no duty to retreat from confrontations outside their home and can use deadly force to protect themselves.
Supporters of Tennessee’s law and others like it say the statute is necessary so law-abiding citizens can defend themselves when confronted by criminals. Opponents of the law say it gives the legal blessing to commit murder and innocent people, Florida teen Trayvon Martin, are often the ones that wind up dead.
The law here says people can use deadly force anywhere — inside or out — provided they have “a reasonable belief that there is an imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury.”
People can be mistaken about the nature of the threat but it has to be “believed to be real at the time” of the confrontation and based on reasonable grounds.

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