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BSU, NAACP Host Panel On Trayvon Martin Case

Publication Date: 
April 11, 2012
The Stanford Daily
Kristian Davis Bailey
Professor and Vice Dean Mark G. Kelman spoke at a Stanford University panel hosted by the Black Student Union and the Stanford NAACP on the application of Florida's "stand your ground" law to the case against George Zimmerman. The Stanford Daily's Kristian Davis Bailey filed the following report:

“The ante has been upped emotionally for you with Trayvon Martin,” said Stanford parent and attorney Simona Farrise to an audience at the Black Community Services Center (BCSC) Friday afternoon. “We have become comfortable with police officers, under the color of the law, killing young black men — now we have gone another step and said, ‘An ordinary person who I might see in the grocery store, who has no training, no license, no right – nothing — can just shoot somebody down and it will be okay.’”

Farrise was one of five panelists brought together by the BCSC, Black Student Union (BSU) and Stanford NAACP to discuss “Justice for Trayvon.” The event focused on the legal and cultural ramifications of George Zimmerman’s February killing of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black 17-year old, allegedly in self-defense.


Mark Kelman, Stanford Law School professor and vice dean, stated that he didn’t think Florida’s “stand your ground” laws, which allow residents to use lethal force if they feel they are in danger, applied to this case.

“The ‘stand your ground’ law only comes into play when you are already entitled to use deadly force,” Kelman said, asserting that individuals must make an attempt to retreat before they are entitled to use deadly force against an alleged attacker.