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Trayvon Martin's mother urges changes in stand-your-ground laws

7:12 AM, Oct 30, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON -- The mother of Trayvon Martin has told a Senate panel that stand-your-ground laws like the one in Florida don't work, and that they need to be changed.

Last year's shooting death of the 17-year-old Martin by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman sparked debate over the self-defense laws that are on the books in more than 20 states.

Senate Democrats today have been supporting Sybrina Fulton's call for changes in those laws -- but Republicans say that's up to the states that passed them.

Fulton told the panel that she attended the hearing so senators can "at least put a face with what has happened with this tragedy." She said, "The person that shot and killed my son is walking the streets today. This law does not work."

There appears to be little willingness in Congress to weigh in on the laws in those states with some form of the stand-your-ground policy. The laws generally cancel a person's duty to retreat in the face of a serious physical attack.

In next year's midterm elections, 35 seats are at stake in the Senate, and all 435 seats in the House -- and gun control remains a politically divisive issue.

Associated Press

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