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'Stand your Ground' originated in Northwest Florida area
NORTHWEST FLORIDA -- The Stand your Ground law back is in the national spotlight. Similar laws are on the books in 22 different states. The Senate Judiciary committee is discussing the merits of the controversial laws.
Trayvon Martin's mother took the stand trying to change it.
Democrats want a review of the law, while Republicans say its a simply matter of self defense.
Sybrina Fulton's son, Trayvon Martin, was killed nearly two years ago. The man who shot him, George Zimmerman, was acquitted this spring. He claimed self defense.
But Fulton is still fighting for justice.
Tuesday, she stood up and testified before congress. She said, "As I think about this as a mother and I think about how many kids walk to the store and how many kids now feel that they cannot be safe in their own community. I think about what kind of message we are sending as parents, as lawmakers, as elected officials."
She told members of congress, Stand-your-Ground laws like the one in Florida don't work, and they need to be changed.
The Florida law is actually based on a local case.
After Hurricane Ivan hit back in 2004, an Escambia County couple were living in a trailer outside of their home when an intruder broke in.
James and Cathy Workman saw a man try to break into their home at 2:30 in the morning. They shouted for him to leave, but he then ran into the trailer. He blocked Cathy inside. Workman shot and killed him.
He still remembers it like yesterday. He said, "I tried to run him off. He was arm lengths from her. What was he doing in there, she was already harmed and scared to death, you look up and someone is entering you don't know.
The shooting was ruled justified, but for a time, the Workman's were unsure because it was their trailer and not their house. That's when the law was changed to the Stand Your Ground law.
Workman thinks the law needs to stay the way it is. He said, "It could be changed somewhat, but it would be hard to get it right. Where would you stop? And some people wouldn't want to stop until they got rid of it, so I think leave it alone."
Workman realizes some people will use it as a defense even in cases where it doesn't apply but he says that's why we have courts. They are there to decide when it's self defense and when it isn't..