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Black Ohio Legislators Fight Ohio “Stand Your Ground” Law

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A group of black lawmakers in Ohio has started circulating petitions to help keep a stand-your-ground proposal from being passed in the state.

The bill would allow people to use force to defend themselves without having a duty to retreat first.

The legislation goes beyond Ohio’s current castle doctrine law, which gives people the right to defend themselves with force in their homes, vehicles or vehicles of immediate family members.

Debate over such measures has increased since the recent acquittal of George Zimmerman in the 2012 shooting death of unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin in Florida. Martin’s family say Zimmerman, who identifies as Hispanic, racially profiled Martin as a potential criminal and wrongly followed him. Zimmerman says Martin attacked him.

At least 21 states have laws similar to the one in Florida, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The laws generally eliminate a person’s duty to retreat in the face of a serious physical threat… Read More

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