On the night of February 26, 2012, 17-year old Trayvon Martin, a hoodie-wearing high school junior, was walking through a neighborhood in Sanford, Florida when a night watchman, George Zimmerman confronted him. Zimmerman shot and killed the unarmed teen, claiming self-defense. After a controversial trial, Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter. His defense was Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law.
Trayvon Martin was described as a loving kid, who saved his father from a burning apartment at age 9. Although he faced the social struggles of many contemporary teens, he hoped to attend college and study aviation. When Zimmerman was not initially arrested, 2.2 million signatures were gathered to petition for an aggressive trial and conviction.
Intense media coverage fueled the ongoing debate about “Stand Your Ground” laws, which are in effect not only in Sanford, Florida, but in some variation in forty-six states. The law states…
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