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Wednesday October 22nd 2014

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Florida House Democratic Caucus calls for special session on Stand Your Ground

The Honorable Ken Detzner
Florida Secretary of State
Florida Department of State
R.A. Gray Building
500 South Bronough Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0250
Dear Secretary Detzner:

I write to request a special session of the Florida Legislature be held at the earliest convenience under the provisions of the Article III, Section 3(c)(2) of the Florida Constitution and Section 11.011(2) of the Florida Statutes.

The Legislature of the State of Florida should be convened for the purpose of reviewing and revising Florida laws and policies regarding justifiable use of force, including but not limited to the provisions known as “Stand Your Ground.” The law, which took effect on Oct. 1, 2005, substantially amended sections of Chapter 776 of the Florida Statutes.

I make this request for a special session based on my belief that there is demonstrable confusion within and among police departments, prosecuting offices and the courts about the application of the law. As presently crafted, the statutes have not simply helped law-abiding citizens protect themselves from attack, but rather they have been used as cover for perpetrators of crimes.

Therefore, please accept this letter as my formal certificate to comply with the requirements for calling a special session under the above-cited Florida Statute.

Accordingly, it is my understanding that once your office receives certificates that a special session is warranted from twenty percent of the Legislature, or thirty-two members, your office will undertake the process of formally polling the remaining members of the House and Senate to determine if there is a three-fifths majority willing to address the current flaws in Florida’s justifiable use of force provisions.

If you have any questions about my request, please reach me at 954-321-2800. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Sincerely,
Perry E. Thurston, Jr.
Leader, Florida House Democratic Caucus
cc: Governor Rick Scott
House Speaker Will Weatherford
Senate President Don Gaetz