McCain: Review 'stand your ground' laws

Says he trusts jury in Martin case, but 2nd look at statutes is due
2013-07-22T00:00:00Z McCain: Review 'stand your ground' lawsHoward Fischer Capitol Media Services Arizona Daily Star
July 22, 2013 12:00 am  • 

The state's senior senator said Sunday that Arizona's "stand your ground" laws need to be reviewed in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting.

John McCain, appearing on CNN's "State of the Union,"' said he thinks the Florida teen, shot to death by George Zimmerman, got justice.

"I trust the judgment of a jury, of his peers, of individuals," the senator said. "No one that I know has said that this case was flawed, that it was corrupt, that there was anything wrong with the system of justice."

But McCain said he can see where the law "may be something that needs to be reviewed by the Florida Legislature or any other legislature that has passed such legislation." And, pressed by host Candy Crowley, he specifically said that Arizona's version of the law, adopted in 2010, is worth looking at again.

"And I'm confident that the members of the Arizona Legislature will," he said. "Because it is very controversial legislation."

McCain, however, did not specifically call for repealing the statute. And messages to his press aides seeking clarification were not returned.

But in calling for a new debate on the law, McCain put himself at odds with Gov. Jan Brewer. She not only signed the original law but just last week, in a response to a query by Capitol Media Services, reaffirmed her support of it.

"I think it's a constitutional right," Brewer said.

Arizona has had laws on its books for years about when someone is justified in using deadly physical force.

Those laws permit such use when "immediately necessary to protect himself against the other's use of unlawful deadly physical force."

State lawmakers added the "castle doctrine" in 2006, which says there is no duty to retreat if someone enters your dwelling.

The 2010 amendment expanded that to the street, saying an individual "has no duty to retreat before threatening or using deadly physical force" as long as he or she is "in a place where the person may legally be and is not engaged in an unlawful act."

McCain's comments put him somewhat in line with President Obama.

The president said last week it would be "useful" to examine such laws "to see if they are designed in such a way that they may encourage the kind of altercations and confrontations and tragedies that we saw in the Florida case, rather than diffuse potential altercations."

That led to the president being criticized by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who said Obama uses "every opportunity that he can to go after our Second Amendment right to bear arms.

"This president and this administration has a consistent disregard for the Bill of Rights," Cruz said.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Video

Follow the Arizona Daily Star

Featured businesses

View more...

Event Calendar

Today's events | Add an event

Most viewed: