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Should Texas reconsider 'Stand Your Ground' type law?

By Jennifer Kendall, jkendall@ktxs.com
Published On: Jul 22 2013 10:17:20 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 23 2013 02:06:00 PM CDT
ABILENE, Texas -

Since the George Zimmerman trial, where the neighborhood watchman shot and killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed African-American teen, there has been a lot of talk about ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws.

The Florida law allows someone to use reasonable force if they are in fear of their life.

"I can also see that 'Stand Your Ground' law may be something that needs to be reviewed by the Florida legislature, or any other legislature that has passed such legislation. Obviously, a lot of things need to come up for review," said Sen. John McCain, (R) Arizona.

Zimmerman said that was the case in his confrontation with Martin. It was a factor in the jury's decision to acquit him of manslaughter charges.

In 16 other states, including Texas, there is some version of a ‘Stand Your Ground’ law. In Texas it's called Deadly Force in Defense of Person.

"The person has to put you in fear of your life or serious bodily injury and if a reasonable person in the same similar circumstances would feel like they're in danger of being killed then you've got the right to use deadly force," said Sam Moore, who has represented clients on both sides of the Texas version of the law.

In Abilene, 1,200 miles away from the Florida town where Martin was killed, people have mixed emotions about the law.

"I believe in it. I believe every citizen has the right to stand their ground if they feel threatened to take what action they can," said Dan Ivey who lives in Abilene. 

"It’s not right. That's like it's always been taught or we've always been taught two wrongs don't make it right," Mary Jones Jay, who also lives in Abilene, disagreed.