Understanding 'Trayvon's Law'

A protester holds a sign at a "Justice for Trayvon" rally in Los Angeles. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
A protester holds a sign at a "Justice for Trayvon" rally in Los Angeles. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Writing at Ebony.com, France François explores "Trayvon's Law," a new set of policies and principles mapped out by the NAACP and the Dream Defenders, a group of young professionals and activists in Florida. If enacted legislatively in that state and others, the groups say, it could help avert another tragedy like the one that befell 17-year-old Trayvon Martin's family.

Without a doubt, the Zimmerman verdict was simultaneously a stark reminder of how little the life of young black men meant in America as well as the very real consequences of unmitigated gun violence. What could have simply become a national tragedy overshadowed by the next news cycle has instead turned into an a call to action by the Dream Defenders and the NAACP for Florida and other states to pass a set of policy principals called "Trayvon’s Law." These set of laws create a legislative response that would greatly reduce the opportunity for another tragedy like the one that befell the Martin family. The key components to the Trayvon’s Law consist of:

-Repealing Stand Your Ground Laws: "Pundits may argue that the Stand Your Ground Laws weren’t part of the [Zimmerman] defense, but the reality is that it was part of the jury’s consideration. The spotlight and validation that the case has given to Stand Your Ground makes our country less safe," says Ahmad Abuznaid, the legal and policy director for the Dream Defenders. Indeed, a study done by the Tampa Bay Times of 200 Stand Your Ground cases shows that the law is applied unevenly in Florida and yield inconsistent outcomes. Seventy-three percent of those who killed a Black person faced no penalty under the Stand Your Ground Law compared to 59 percent of those who killed a White person. The Times also notes that " in nearly a third of the cases the Times analyzed, defendants initiated the fight, shot an unarmed person or pursued their victim  and still went free," even those who shot their victims in the back.


Read France François' entire piece at Ebony.com.

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