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Trayvon Martin's mother testifies on 'stand your ground' law

“The person that shot and killed my son is walking the streets today,” Sybrina Fulton said at a Senate hearing.

Trayvon Martin’s mother testified Tuesday that "stand your ground" self-defense laws in roughly two dozen states breed violence and allow killers to walk free.

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Sybrina Fulton’s assertion, made during a heated hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, rekindled congressional debate over the laws, which authorize people to use deadly force when threatened — even if they could retreat instead.

“The person that shot and killed my son is walking the streets today,” Fulton said of George Zimmerman, the volunteer watchman acquitted of murder charges after fatally shooting Martin, 17, in Florida last year. “This law does not work.”

Though Zimmerman did not invoke Florida’s "stand your ground" law in his defense, critics say it, along with the state’s conceal carry gun regulations, helped create a legal framework under which he could be exonerated.

“Many people have mistakenly assumed that because my son’s killer did not apply for ‘Stand Your Ground’ immunity during the trial, that this law was not a factor in his death,” Fulton said on prepared remarks. “The truth is that the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law in its entirety creates many opportunities for people to commit terrible acts of violence and evade justice.”

Martin’s death spawned calls from President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder for reconsideration of "stand your ground" laws, and whether they encourage violence.

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