Rouson: Stand Your Ground law needs repeal or clarification


State Senator Darryl Rouson said the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law is being misapplied and needs to be changed.

The Florida Democrat, who represents St. Petersburg, East Tampa and parts of Western Hillsborough County in the 19th district, told ‘Politics On Your Side’ that the law should be repealed back to mirror the Castle Doctrine.

“In the ideal world, we go back to before we extended it beyond the castle, beyond the house to the parking lot or street corner,” said Rouson. “But that is unlikely. There needs to be an amendment, a reform. There needs to be language that clarifies clearly so the public knows when it should be instituted and law enforcement understands when it should apply it.”

The Castle Doctrine is the standard in most states. It allows a person to defend him- or herself with deadly force without a duty to retreat if they are in imminent harm in their home, car, workplace or other place where they have a legal right to be.

Rouson said the current law is too murky, and allows someone to instigate a situation and then claim the ‘Stand Your Ground’ defense if it leads to a shooting.

“Where’s the justice in that?” asked Rouson. “If you interject yourself into something you have no business interjecting yourself into, and then something happens and it escalates, then you escalate it more by responding with deadly force… I mean where’s the justice in being able to use self-defense or ‘Stand Your Ground’ to kill someone?”

Legislators can call a special session if they get enough votes to trigger a poll of the legislative body. Rouson rallied enough votes to force a poll, but not enough to come back into session.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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