Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday announced the composition of a task force to evaluate that state’s Stand Your Ground law.
The law has received fresh attention because of the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin, 17. Martin was shot to death by a neighborhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman, on February 26th, and police initially declined to arrest Zimmerman, after they and the Seminole County state attorney’s office decided he acted lawfully under Stand Your Ground.
Scott announced that the 15-member task force will be headed by Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll, the state’s first black lieutenant governor. The vice chair of the task force is Rev. R.B. Holmes Jr. of Tallahassee, a onetime Jeb Bush supporter who in March called for Zimmerman’s arrest.
At the announcement, Scott, a Republican, reaffirmed his support for the Second Amendment, and said he believed the law, signed by then-Gov. Jeb Bush in 2005, has helped save lives.
Carroll said the task force will seek citizen input. She announced the creation of a website, www.flgov.com/citizensafety, where people can find information about the task force proceedings, and share their views.
“We look forward to hearing from the citizens of our state about their concerns and recommendations for keeping our state safe,” Carroll said in a statement posted on the site.
In addition to Carroll and Holmes, the task force includes:
- Sheriff Larry Ashley, of Shalimar, Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office.
- State Representative Dennis Baxley, of Ocala, Florida House of Representatives, District 24.
- Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Kenneth B. Bell, of Pensacola, shareholder with Clark Partington Hart Larry Bond and Stackhouse.
- State Representative Jason Brodeur, of Sanford, Florida House of Representatives, District 33.
- Derek E. Bruce, of Orlando, attorney with Edge Public Affairs.
- Joseph A. Caimano Jr., of Tampa, criminal defense attorney with Caimano Law Group.
- Edna Canino, of Miami, president of the Florida Embassy of League of United Latin American Citizens, Council 7220.
- Gretchen Lorenzo, of Fort Myers, neighborhood watch coordinator for the Fort Myers Police Department.
- Judge Krista Marx, of West Palm Beach, Fifteenth Judicial Circuit of Florida.
- Maria Newman, of Melbourne, neighborhood watch volunteer with the City of Melbourne.
- Katherine Fernandez Rundle, of Miami, state attorney for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit.
- Stacy A. Scott, of Gainesville, public defender with the Eighth Judicial Circuit.
- Mark Seiden, of Miami, self-employed attorney.
- State Senator David Simmons, of Altamonte Springs, Florida Senate, District 22.
- State Senator Gary Siplin, of Orlando, Florida Senate, District 19.