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Widow wants "Stand Your Ground" law changed | News

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Widow wants "Stand Your Ground" law changed

Valrico, Florida -- A Bay area woman believes Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law needs to be changed. Kanina James' husband, David, was shot and killed in September 2010 in his Twin Lakes neighborhood during an argument about skateboarders.

Trevor Dooley, the accused shooter, has claimed self-defense and is using Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law. Right now, arguments are being filed on a motion to dismiss the charges, including manslaughter, against Dooley.

James calls it a slap in the face and is against the "Stand Your Ground" law. She feels it's not being used correctly and is creating horrible injustices, such as the Trayvon Martin case happening in Sanford right now.

"It's wrong. It's being overused for the wrong reasons. It's not right," says James.

According to statistics from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, before the law was enacted in 2005, there were about 13 justified killings each year by citizens from 2000 to 2005.  Between 2006 and 2010, the average has risen to 36 justified killings each year.

"Stand Your Ground" says you need only to "reasonably believe" using force is necessary to protect yourself from great harm or death.

State Representative Dennis Baxley, who co-sponsored the bill, believes it has been a great protection for Floridians.

"We thought the self defense measures should apply to any law abiding citizen who was doing nothing to harm anyone else," says State Rep. Baxley.

However, Baxley also says it could be time to take a new look at the law.

James hopes something is done, not only with the law, but also in her husband's case.

"Hopefully it will go to trial and justice will be served," she says.

There is a hearing set for April in the case.


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