By William Patrick | Florida Watchdog
TALLAHASSEE – Will the protesters get what they want? It’s a question only time can answer.
Roughly two dozen members of the group Dream Defenders began their second week occupying Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s office at the state Capitol on Monday.
The two sides are at odds over the Stand Your Ground provision in the state’s self-defense laws, Florida Statutes, Chapter 776.
The protesters want Scott to call a special session of the Legislature to repeal Stand Your Ground. But the governor has made it clear he supports the positive recommendations of the 19-member Stand Your Ground task force convened in the wake of Trayvon Martin’s tragic shooting death last year.
Twenty-two other states have similar laws, and a new Rasmussen poll shows 45 percent of Americans approve Stand Your Ground while 32 percent disapprove.
Phillip Agnew, executive director of Dream Defenders, told Florida Watchdog last Tuesday the group also wants an end to the “zero tolerance” policies that impose automatic punishments for certain crimes.
On Monday, state Juvenile Justice Secretary Wansley Walters met with the protesters to discuss what Florida officials are doing to prevent young adults from entering the criminal justice system, the Miami Herald reported.
Waters worked in the juvenile justice services in Miami-Dade County from 1995-2011. She left when Scott appointed her to run the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. According to her department bio, Miami-Dade had the lowest youth incarceration rate in the state during her tenure, as well as one of the lowest juvenile crime rates.
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