Convened to review, analyze and assess the recently enacted state Stand Your Ground laws, the task force is also charged with examining the potential effects these laws may have on public safety, individual liberties and the criminal justice system.
Local and regional expert witnesses and stakeholders, including law enforcement, prosecutors, public and private criminal defense attorneys and legal academics, have been invited to testify on the effects of Stand Your Ground laws in the Northeast, where several states have enacted similar self-defense statutes. Testimony may be given in person or in writing.
Confirmed speakers include:
- R. Seth Williams, Philadelphia district attorney;
- Ed G. Marsico Jr., Dauphin County district attorney;
- Richard Lowe, mayor of Swarthmore and partner at Duane Morris;
- Dorothy Johnson Speight, executive director, Mothers in Charge;
- Shira Goodman, executive director, CeaseFirePA;
- David Green, director, Firearm Owners Against Crime;
- Donald Tibbs, associate professor of law, Drexel Law School;
- Joshua Prince, criminal law practitioner; and
- Representative from New York Mayor Bloomberg’s Second Chance on Shoot First campaign.
Those who wish to testify may contact Rachel Patrick, staff director for the ABA Coalition on Racial and Ethnic Justice, at 312-988-5408 or via email at Rachel.Patrick@americanbar.org.
The task force is made up of members from ABA entities, law enforcement, government, state prosecutors’ offices, public and private criminal practice, academia and other legal arenas. Leigh-Ann Buchanan of Miami and Jack Middleton of Manchester, N.H., serve as co-chairpersons of the task force.
This is the third of four regional Stand Your Ground hearings. The first hearing was held during the ABA Midyear Meeting in Dallas in February. The second hearing was held May 2 in Chicago.
The ABA National Task Force on Stand Your Ground Laws is hailed as the prevailing independent leader on the legal analysis and social critique of the impact of state Stand Your Ground laws, which exist, to some degree or another, in more than half of jurisdictions in the United States. The ABA-affiliated task force is uniquely qualified to analyze the impact of Stand Your Ground laws and the implications the expansion of the justified use of deadly force by these laws has on protecting the integrity of the criminal justice system as well as individual liberties, particularly those of systemically vulnerable constituencies.
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