Patrick opposes 'Stand Your Ground' bill


Gov. Deval Patrick is vowing to veto a bill that would a create a so-called “Stand Your Ground” law in Massachusetts.

More than two dozen lawmakers are backing a bill that mirrors the law at the heart of the debate over the killing of an unarmed black teenager in Florida by a neighborhood watch captain.

State Sen. Stephen Brewer, D-Barre, said he’s sponsored the bill for the past five years. Brewer said his main goal is to protect individuals who defend themselves in public from criminal and civil penalties.

Critics of “Stand Your Ground” laws say they encourage vigilante activity.

The case of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who was shot to death after an encounter with 28-year-old George Zimmerman in the central Florida town of Sanford, has sparked national interest in the laws.

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