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Smith launches his own SYG review panel

Posted Apr 3, 2012 by William March

Updated Apr 3, 2012 at 04:01 PM

State Sen. Chris Smith, D-Fort Lauderdale, unsatisfied with Gov. Rick Scott’s plans on reviewing the state’s Stand Your Ground law, has announced he’s forming his own task force to review the law, which has been linked to the shooting of Trayvon Martin.

Last week, Smith unsuccessfully asked Scott to speed up his plans to review the law.

Scott, in an executive order last month, named a special prosecutor to investigate the shooting and announced a task force to re-examine the law, to be led by Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll. It would convene only after the special prosecutor completes the assignment, up to one year from now.

Smith said that’s not fast enough. He wanted the task force to convene immediately, and a special legislative session to consider changes in the law. But Scott’s office replied a special session and task force review would be premature before the prosecutor has looked into the case.

In a news release today, Smith said he is “tired of the ongoing inaction by the governor and other Tallahassee officials” on the subject.

“Floridians opening fire and claiming self-defense are not waiting,” he said, citing figures—questioned in some news reports—that homicides ruled justifiable have tripled in Florida since the law was passed. “We don’t need promises by the governor of possible future action.”

Smith said his task force will convene this week in Fort Lauderdale. He announced five members: Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Frank Adderley, Broward County State Attorney Mike Satz, former state senator and U. S. Attorney Dan Gelber, state Rep. Perry Thurston, D-Fort Lauderdale), and Miami Dade County Public Defender Carlos Martinez.

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