WASHINGTON, Oct. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights will convene a national panel of experts in Orlando, Florida to examine whether there are racial disparities in the application or enforcement of Stand Your Ground laws.
The briefing will take place on October 17, 2014, Friday, from 9:00 am to 3:10 pm in the Grand Ballroom of the Rosen Plaza Hotel, 9700 International Drive, Orlando, Florida 32819. The briefing is open to the public without registration. Media who are planning to attend with cameras, tripods and equipment must contact the Commission as soon as possible at [email protected] to arrange for tripod positions, electrical hookup and other setup needs.
The agenda is as follows:
Opening remarks by Chairman Martin R. Castro
Panel 1: 9:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
- Senator Christopher L. Smith, Florida Senate
- Minority Leader J. Todd Rutherford, South Carolina House of Representatives
- Representative Harold Mitchell, Jr., South Carolina House of Representatives
- Ahmad Nabil Abuznaid, Attorney, Dream Defenders
- Lucia McBath, Mother of Jordan Davis
Panel 2: 10:45 a.m. – 12:25 p.m.
- David A. Harris, Professor of Law , University of Pittsburgh School of Law
- William Krouse, Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress
- John Roman, The Urban Institute
- Arkadi Gerney, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress
- Katheryn Russell-Brown, Professor of Law, University of Florida School of Law
LUNCH 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Panel 3: 1: 30 p.m. – 3:10 p.m.
- Elizabeth Burke, Managing Attorney, The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence
- John Lott, Jr., President, Crime Prevention Research Center
- David LaBahn, President, Association of Prosecuting Attorneys
- Ilya Shapiro, Senior Fellow, CATO Institute
- Professor Ronald S. Sullivan, Jr., Harvard Law School
Closing remarks and adjournment by Chairman Martin R. Castro
Stand Your Ground laws in some form have gained passage in 33 states. They justify the use of deadly force and eliminate the duty to retreat if an individual reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to him- or herself. Of concern to the Commission is whether there is possible racial bias in the assertion, investigation and/or enforcement of justifiable homicide laws in states with Stand Your Ground provisions. Briefing speakers will present testimony on the personal impact of the laws, findings from their research regarding the racial dimensions of justifiable homicides, and will elaborate upon actions being advanced by advocacy groups to alleviate concerns related to Stand Your Ground laws.
Anyone wishing to make a public comment on the briefing may email the comment to the Commission at [email protected]. To be deemed timely by the Commission, any public comment must be received by midnight ET on November 17, 2014.
Deaf or hearing-impaired persons who will attend the meeting and require the services of a sign language interpreter or anyone needing a language interpreter should contact Pam Dunston at (202) 376-8105 at least seven business days prior to the briefing.
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is an independent, bipartisan agency charged with advising the President and Congress on civil rights matters and issuing a federal civil rights enforcement report. For information about Commission's reports and meetings, visit http://www.usccr.gov.
Media contact: Marlene Sallo
SOURCE U.S. Commission on Civil Rights