• Gov. announces task force to study 'stand your ground' law


    ORLANDO, Fla. - Gov. Rick Scott announced Thursday the members appointed to the task force that will be studying Florida's controversial “stand your ground" law.

    The law came under heavy scrutiny when George Zimmerman used it to explain why he shot Trayvon Martin.

    The new task force's main mission will be to listen, learn and make suggestions on the law.

    Before stand your ground, Florida law considered it justifiable homicide to kill an intruder on one's property without first having to attempt to retreat from the scene.  But it was expanded to apply to any situation in any location where a person was reasonably put in fear of their life.

    Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll will head up the task force with the Rev. R.B. Holmes second in command. 

    Carroll was in the house when stand your ground passed.

    When asked if she voted in favor of the law, Carroll said, “Yes. I did.”

    Carroll is one of four people on the task force who voted for the self-defense law.  Prosecutors, defense attorneys and law enforcement round out the 17-member review team.

    In the meantime, Scott said the task force is “completely separate” from the Zimmerman trial.

    The first task force meeting will be held in Tallahassee.  There, the group will decide when and where to hold future meetings.  The task force will also come up with recommendations to be considered during the 2013 legislative session.

    Central Florida state senators David Simmons and Gary Siplin are joined on the task force by one of the bills original authors, Dennis Baxley, of Ocala, and Sanford state Rep. Jason Brodeur.           

    From the private sector, Orlando attorney Derek Bruce and city of Melbourne neighborhood watch volunteer Maria Newman were named by the governor.

    The first meeting is set for May 1.

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