Tuesday, March 25, 2014

IACHR Hears Testimony on Stand Your Ground Laws

Working with co-editor Carrie Bettinger-Lopez, students of the U. Miami Human Rights Clinic have been working to train a human rights lens on Stand Your Ground laws.  Below, they provide an update on their work and resources for others interested in this timely issue.

The students write:

Almost one month ago marked the two-year anniversary of Trayvon Martin's killing. His tragic death sparked a firestorm of national attention on Stand Your Ground laws and race in Florida - especially after Martin's killer, George Zimmerman, was treated with kid gloves by the criminal justice system and ultimately acquitted by a jury.

Though many have expressed outrage at the pernicious effect of Stand Your Ground on black people - and especially black youth - Florida appears to be doubling down on its defense of this flawed law. Advocates nationwide should take action by standing our ground against the deeply flawed and dangerous nature of this law.

Earlier today, on Tuesday, March 26th from 11:30-12:30 at the IACHR (1889 F. St. NW in DC) the Dream Defenders, Free Marissa Now, the NAACP, the University of Miami Human Rights Clinic, and the Community Justice Project of Florida Legal Services produced testimony for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights for the 150th ordinary session to discuss stand your ground laws and its effects on minority communities.

If you are interested in this area of human rights law, please visit the websites of the organizations listed above to learn about ways in which you can get involved with advocacy on behalf of these efforts. For additional information on the domestic impact of current policies related to domestic violence, gun violence, and "Stand Your Ground" laws, please read the shadow report submitted by the Human Rights Clinic along with the Advocates for Human Rights, Legal Momentum, and Women Enabled, to the United Nations for the UN's review of the United States' compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Additionally, another shadow report on Stand Your Ground laws submitted by the Dream Defenders, Florida Legal Services, and the NAACP can be found here.

Note: This blog has been adapted from an op-ed drafted by students Charlotte Cassel, Dan Kinney, and Max Tsoy of the University of Miami Law Human Rights Clinic overseen by Director Caroline Bettinger-Lopez: http://jacksonville.com/opinion/premium-opinion/2014-02-27/story/guest-column-miami-law-students-comment-stand-your-ground



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