A seven member panel of stand-your-ground opponents and proponents debated the law before an audience of 600 guests in Florida a few days ago, in a discussion hosted by the Forum Club of Palm Beach.
Top row (l-r): State Atty. Dave Aronberg; Judge Krista Marx; Palm Beach Urban League president Patrick Franklin; Martin County Sheriff William Snyder.
Bottom row (l-r): State Sen. David Simmons (R); State Sen.Chris Smith (D); State Representative David Kerner (D).
The panelists were
- Republican State Sen. David Simmons who, while in the House of Representatives, was one of the authors of the controversial law, and still supports it;
- Democratic State Sen.Chris Smith, the highest ranking black elected official in Florida, who has called for the law to be revisited or repealed
- Palm Beach County Circuit Court Judge Krista Marx who was on a special task force which reviewed the law and issued a report supporting the core principles of it. She has said the law is too broad and vague
- State Rep. Dave Kerner, a former police officer who has been appointed to a house committee that will review the law this fall. He supports revisiting the law
- Martin County Sheriff William Snyder, a former state legislator and outspoken supporter of the law
- Palm Beach County State Atty. Dave Aronberg, a former state senator, who supports a review and has blamed judges for expanding the law beyond what it was intended for
- Patrick Franklin, president of the Urban League of Palm Beach County. The Urban League has called for review and revision of the law
The general concensus after the discussion was that, at the very least, stand-your-ground laws need some changes. The panel was moderated by WPTV News reporter Michael Williams, who issued the following news report:
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT STAND YOUR GROUND LAWS?
- Stand your ground sponsor defends law, but says he’s open to ‘improvements’ during panel debate (postonpolitics.com)
- Forum Club hosts Stand Your Ground panel (wptv.com)
- Most panelist members say Florida’s ‘stand your ground’ law needs revised to remove ambiguity (tcpalm.com)
- Local panel in Florida convenes to discuss “Stand Your Ground” law (pbs.org)
- Panel of experts gather today in West Palm Beach to discuss stand your ground law | Twitter (tcpalm.com)