Mich. Dems seek repeal of 'stand your ground' laws - WNEM TV 5

Mich. Dems seek repeal of 'stand your ground' laws


More than a dozen Democratic Michigan House members have introduced legislation to repeal the state's "stand your ground" self-defense law after the fatal shooting of Florida teen Trayvon Martin.

Rep. Stacey Erwin Oakes, D-Saginaw, and Rep. Woodrow Stanley, D-Flint, are among the 13 representatives calling for the repeal of Michigan's law that allows Michiganders to use lethal force in self-defense.

Stanley says he'd like to see it go back to the old way, which required those who consider using lethal force to retreat if they can.

"This is a law that promotes violence, the whole notion that you should stand your ground, it sounds like a very aggressive statement.  What we should be trying to do is get people to be more civil, get people to try to not promote violence," said Stanley.

The 13 representatives say the concept is easy, they want a more stringent law and one that's not open to interpretation. They say the hard part is going to be behind the Capitol walls and having other law makers take their stance.

Saginaw County Sheriff Bill Federspiel said there's nothing wrong with the current "stand your ground."

"I'm all about non-violence, don't get me wrong, but when someone comes up to you and is trying to hurt you or hurt your family or worse, you should have the right to defend yourself or your family," said Federspiel.

Federspiel claimed "stand your ground" is used by good people being attacked by bad guys and he doesn't want the bad guys to have any type of upper hand.

I'd rather have the bad guys say, 'I don't think I want to mess with the citizens,'" said Federspiel.

Oakes said she agrees with Stanley and wants a law that isn't open for interpretation.

Neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman fatally shot Martin Feb. 28 in Sanford, FL, but wasn't arrested for weeks. Zimmerman has invoked the law that doesn't require a person to retreat in the face of a serious threat.

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