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A month after the shooting of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in the town of Sanford, Florida, his killer, George Zimmerman, is still a free man. Zimmerman has told local police he was attacked from behind and acted in self-defence but there is overwhelming evidence, both from witness accounts and recordings of 911 calls, that Zimmerman murdered the teenager in cold blood. The fact that local police have decided not to arrest Zimmerman has sparked a national outcry, and the FBI has now started an investigation.
We feature Democracy Now’s excellent coverage of the issue, which includes an analysis of the role of Florida’s controversial ‘Stand Your Ground’ law, which has also been dubbed the ‘Shoot First, Ask Questions Later’ law. The law, introduced in 2005, includes a defence of justifuable homicide, in cases “when the actor reasonably fears imminent peril of death or serious bodily harm to himself or another”.
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