AG Eric Holder Speaks Out Against ‘Stand Your Ground’ Laws After Zimmerman Verdict

Source: Pete Williams and Tracy Connor / NBC News

Attorney General Eric Holder took aim Tuesday at “Stand Your Ground”-style laws — such as the one that figured into the George Zimmerman case — saying they may encourage violence and “undermine public safety.”

“It’s time to question laws that senselessly expand the concept of self-defense and sow dangerous conflict in our neighborhoods,” Holder said in a speech to the NAACP. “These laws try to fix something that was never broken.

“There has always been a legal defense for using deadly force if — and the ‘if’ is important — if no safe retreat is available.  But we must examine laws that take this further by eliminating the common sense and age-old requirement that people who feel threatened have a duty to retreat, outside their home, if they can do so safely.

“By allowing — and perhaps encouraging — violent situations to escalate in public — such laws undermine public safety.  The list of resulting tragedies is long and, unfortunately, has victimized too many who are innocent.

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