Community hopes to replace "stand your ground" law with Trayvon Martin Law
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04/20/12 Atecia Robinson
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A crowd forms around Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin and their lawyers as they talk about a Trayvon Martin law.


photo by Beaulah Baptist International Church of Tampa, used with permission.

On Thursday afternoon more than 100 people rallied a t a church in Tampa supporting the family of Trayvon Martin. Martin's parents were at the Beulah Baptist Church but didn't speak.

Many people called for a reassessment of the “stand your ground law” that allows a person being threatened to use deadly force, rather than retreat.

In the meeting organized by the National Bar Association, the family’s lawyer, Benjamin Crump, continued the rally’s conversation by saying justice now means changes in the law.

"That's what we absolutely believe led to his death, and the stand your ground law, is what could possibly exonerate his killer--so we, know that Trayvon Martin's legacy is going to be that our community, our nation has to confront these issues. That starts with passing the Trayvon Martin Law. Thank you."

As more than one hundred people listened, Attorney Donnell Ayala, said the case would now evaluate as to whether Zimmerman would be able to use the “stand your ground law,” in his favor and talked about what would happen next.

"After the bond has been established, whether it's denied, and or granted, there's an arraignment. When a person is arrested they have to be notified of what the formal charges are. After the arraignment I would expect discovery to start. Discovery is the process where the prosecutor, upon demand, has to disclose all the information to the defense that would be used at trial. Now that discovery, they're attempting to keep the files closed at this point so we don't know. With Angela Cory charging second degree murder, there's a whole lot in there that we don't know, and we have to trust that decision that she made."

Crump said Zimmerman requested a private meeting with Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, parents of Trayvon Martin, Thursday morning. He said Zimmerman’s efforts to reach out to the family were far too late.

"We believe Zimmerman's request at this time, is very self serving, some 50 days later, the day before his bond hearing. He had the Web page, never apologized then, had the voice mails we've heard, never apologized then--so, we feel that you all can conclude for yourselves what motivations there are."

Attorney Daryl Parks agreed, and said Zimmerman would have his chance to speak, but only in court. Zimmerman’s bond hearing was scheduled for this morning. He also applauded Florida Governor, Rick Scott, for helping push the proposed Trayvon Martin Law that would repeal the Stand Your Ground Law.

"We applaud him for moving in that direction, um, to have a real analysis, um. At the end of the day, um, when we have laws on our books, um, that are confusing to the general public, that are confusing to those that interpret them--those laws, um, put the public in a bad position."

One question was raised by Murphy Brown, who traveled to Tampa from Toronto —how long would the case take to come to trail? If it takes years, would they be prepared to wait for Justice? Attorney Crump said he had faith things would move quickly.

"All us lawyers know, really it becomes up to the judge-- to decide calenders and schedules and that kinda thing. Ah, the defendant has some ah rights, some constitutional rights. If he decided to invoke them, that will allow for a speedy trial, but at this point--we don't have control of that process, we push to get the wheels of justice to start turning."

Martin’s parents did not speak and only faced the public for a few minutes.

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