Dayton: Trayvon Martin case shows new stand-your-ground law not needed


Gov. Mark Dayton says the court case involving the death of Trayvon Martin strengthens his opposition to any new stand-your-ground law in Minnesota.

Dayton commented Wednesday for the first time since neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman was acquitted of criminal charges in the shooting death of Martin in Sanford, Florida.

The Associated Press reports the governor reiterated his opposition to expanding laws that permit the use of lethal force.

Existing law allows Minnesotans to use deadly force to defend themselves or their homes. A bill he vetoed last year would have expanded the law to include defense of one's car, boat, tent, or hotel room.

As the Star Tribune reports, Dayton says Martin's death shows "...that these kinds of laws that are supposedly empowering citizen vigilantes to take matters in their own hands have catastrophic effects."

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder voiced the same sentiment during a speech in Orlando. According to ABC News, Holder told the NAACP convention such laws "...senselessly expand the concept of self-defense and sow dangerous conflict in our neighborhoods.”

Fox News reports the National Rifle Association fired back at Holder.

One pending Minnesota court case that could hinge on the state's self-defense law involves two teenagers who were shot to death after breaking into the home of a Little Falls-area man last Thanksgiving.

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