The National Bar Association was founded in 1925 and is the nation's oldest and largest national network of predominantly African American attorneys and judges. It represents approximately 44,000 lawyers, judges, law professors and law students and has over 80 affiliate chapters throughout the United States and around the world. For additional information about the National Bar Association, visit www.nationalbar.org
National Bar Association Issues “Call for Justice,” Urges Legislators to
Repeal “Stand Your Ground” Laws
Contact: Erika Owens
WASHINGTON (July 29, 2013) — The National Bar Association (NBA), the nation’s
oldest and largest association of African American lawyers and judges, today announced it is seeking to repeal the 24+ state “stand your ground” laws as part of its “Call for Justice” initiative in conjunction with the families of teenage gun violence victims Trayvon Martin and Hidaya Pendleton and Martin family attorneys.
“Stand your ground laws must fall,” said NBA President John E. Page. “ The ‘Call for Justice’ means that it is time to stand up – stand up against ‘stand your ground’ laws and stand up in the memory of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis, and so many others whose killings were carried out by gun violence and justified by these senseless laws. We must not allow anyone to succumb to violence at the hands of vigilantes who devalue human life.”
Stating that “stand your ground” laws have hurt communities across the country by encouraging the use of violence, poor judgment, and even vigilantism, the NBA pledged
a number of initiatives seeking changes to the laws. Page presented state ballot measures, Department of Justice involvement, strategic boycotts and civil lawsuits as measures that could press legislators to repeal or at least amend “stand your ground” rules.
“The ‘Call for Justice’ is an outcry for legislators to take a closer look at what they are doing to prevent violence against our youth and promote public safety,” Page said.
At the press conference, Page also encouraged all citizens to “Educate – Agitate – Legislate and Donate. Work with the NBA, legal community, and civil rights and community organizations to get their voices heard.” And “arm yourself with information and stay abreast new developments by following the NBA on Twitter @nationalbar.com.”
According to statistics from the National Bureau of Economic Research, homicide rates increase in states with “stand your ground” laws.