Thursday, April 24, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

In light of Trayvon case, Councilman calls for repeal of PA state law

In the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, Florida’s police department said their hands were tied by the state’s “stand your ground” self defense law and critics have vowed to push lawmakers to roll back those laws.

In light of Trayvon case, Councilman calls for repeal of PA state law

In the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, Florida’s police department said their hands were tied by the state’s “stand your ground” self defense law and critics have vowed to push lawmakers to roll back those laws.

It was after public pressure and outrage that the shooter --neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman was finally arrested. (See earlier PhillyClout blog post.)

City Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. introduced a resolution today calling for the Pennsylvania General assembly to repeal its expansion of the “Castle Doctrine” law which went into effect last year and is similar to Florida’s “stand your ground” legislation. Council members Bill Greenlee and Marian Tasco co-sponsored the resolution.

“We’re asking the legislature to repeal that law because copycats are everywhere and so they are going to test the theory of whether or not you can be the aggressor based on some trumped up reason that you think you’re threatened,” Jones said. “We don’t know what’s going to happen in court whether the assailant will be found guilty or innocent. But I can tell you if he is found innocent  there will be replications of that and people will be fighting in the streets like in the Old West… and we can prevent that by repealing that now.”

“I believe in the [second] amendment and right to bear arms and all of that, but responsibly and deadly force should be your last and only option not your first preference,” he said. “The one thing about the Trayvon Martin tragedy is that it brought to light some of the senseless laws on deadly force and proliferation of guns in our society.”

About this blog
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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