Dennis Baxley


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1) Florida

Florida was the first state to enact the Stand Your Ground Law and set the precedent for the rest that followed suit.

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The idea was after a disoriented temporary FEMA worker tried to force his way into the trailer of James Workman in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan. Workman killed him with a .38 revolver. It turned out that the FEMA employee was checking for looters post the natural disaster. No charges were placed upon Workman but it took 3 months to clear him of any wrongdoing.

Thereafter Dennis Baxley (a Republican rep in Florida’s state legislature) recognized that looting was a widespread problem especially in the wake of natural disasters, and felt that Floridians shouldn’t be punished for using lethal force to protect their property or themselves. He teamed up with National Rifle Association (NRA) member and owner of a prosperous funeral business, and then-GOP state Sen. Durell Peaden to propose what would become known as Stand Your Ground, the self-defense doctrine essentially permitting anyone feeling threatened in a confrontation to shoot their way out.

Senator Peaden insists that Zimmerman “has no protection under my law.” According to state Representative Dennis Baxley, “There’s nothing in this statute that authorizes you to pursue and confront people.” He’s asserted that Stand Your Ground was designed only “to prevent you from being attacked by other people.”

The debate continues.

You can take a look at all the circumstances in which the Sunshine State justifies the use of force here 

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