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State lawmakers weighing in on Stand Your Ground special session

Senators and representatives are voting this week
Posted at 5:29 PM, Aug 08, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – State representatives and senators have until noon Friday to vote whether or not a special session should be held regarding Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground law. 

Democrats are leading the charge to change the law, which allows people to use deadly force against another person if they believe they are in imminent danger.

Now, it’s up to state lawmakers to cast ballots regarding a special session. Three-fifths of the legislature would have to vote yes in order to move forward on a special session. 

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Numbers so far show 25 state representatives have voted "yes", 44 representatives have voted "no". A total of 69 out of 117 have cast a ballot.

In the Senate 12 have voted "yes", 11 have voted "no". A total of 23 out of 39 have voted.

A total of 95 need to vote "yes" for the special session to move forward.  

Senator Darryl Rouson, a Democrat who represents Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties is pushing for the special session. "Even law enforcement is uncertain when to apply the Stand Your Ground law and Florida citizens are confused about when they can use it," he explained, "This is not a partisan issue. This is an issue of life or death and this law needs evaluation."

Unless the state’s Republican leaders vote to move forward on a special session between now and Friday, the measure will likely die. A similar push to change the law failed after Trayvon Martin’s death in 2013.

On Tuesday, The Pinellas County Commission unanimously passed a resolution asking state lawmakers to clarify or change parts of the controversial law.

The discussion comes after the July 19 shooting of Clearwater father Markeis McGlockton outside of a Pinellas County convenience store.

What started as an argument over a handicapped parking space, ended up with McGlockton pushing Michael Drejka. Drejka then shot and killed McGlockton in front of his girlfriend and three children.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri cited the “stand your ground” law as the reason he did not arrest Michael Drejka. The State Attorney's office is now reviewing the case.

Wednesday morning, McGlockton’s family gathered for a rally in Tallahassee to push for changes to the law and justice for their loved one.

"It's really hard because my kids are still asking me where their father is. I have to tell them he is resting right now," Britany Jacobs explained to reporters. McGlockton was her boyfriend and the father of her three children.