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Carroll to chair "Stand Your Ground" Task Force

Tallahassee's Rev. R.B. Holmes (left) joins Gov. Rick Scott (center) and Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll (right) in announcing a task force to look into the "Stand Your Ground" law

Florida Governor Rick Scott is announcing a task force to look into the state’s “Stand Your Ground Law.” Regan McCarthy reports the task force is set to hold its first meeting in May. The formation of the task force comes after the shooting death of an unarmed teen back in February.

Florida Governor Rick Scott says his “heart goes out” to the family of Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old who was shot by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford. But he says he wants to ensure the state doesn’t “rush to conclusions” about the “Stand Your Ground” law, which the shooter’s attorney says will likely be a part of his defense. 

“As you all know we’re at a 40-year low in our crime rate. Our law enforcement is doing a good job. And all of us want to continue that record.”

Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll will chair the task force. Carroll says the task force will be made up of 17 members.

“We have appointed a highly qualified task force. The 17 task force members are inclusive of many different points of views and racially, regionally and professionally diverse.”

The members include lawyers, lawmakers, law enforcement officers and neighborhood watch volunteers. Carroll says task force members were selected by Scott and leaders from the House and Senate from a pool of people who had approached the governor’s office about joining the task force. She says that’s why Senator Chris Smith, a Democrat from Oakland Park, who has already started his own task force, is not a part of the governor’s group.

“He did not apply. We went with the application—people that sent in information who were interested in serving on this taskforce.”

Smith says he made his interest in joining the task force clear. He said in a release that he is glad to see the governor has formed a task force, but worries state officials are moving too slowly. The governor’s task force is expected to have a recommendation for lawmakers by the time the legislature meets next session. Meanwhile, George Zimmerman, the self-confessed shooter of Trayvon Marin, has pled not guilty to the second degree murder charges pending against him. And the original judge in the case has stepped down because of a conflict of interest.




Task Force members named:

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, assistant 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.

Follow @Regan_McCarthy

Regan McCarthy is the Assistant News Director for WFSU Public Media. Before coming to Tallahassee, Regan graduated with honors from Indiana University’s Ernie Pyle School of Journalism. She worked for several years for NPR member station WFIU in Bloomington, Ind., where she covered local and state government and produced feature and community stories.

Phone: (850) 645-6090 | rmccarthy@fsu.edu

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