State Attorney sounds off on progress of task force

caines | 6/14/2012, 6 a.m.

A Miami Times exclusive

State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle is one of the few Miami-Dade County officials chosen by Florida Governor Rick Scott to serve on the Task Force on Citizens Safety and Protection. Following Tuesdays meeting, which for the first time also included public testimony, she spoke with The Miami Times about her views on what transpired during the day. We [she and her chief assistant, Don Horn] thought this was an enlightening day, she said. Todays process focused on providing us with an intensive explanation of the Stand Your Ground law how it was first developed and how it has evolved over the last five or six years. We had a number of experts and law enforcement people who explained how their investigations are conducted and how the law leads them to arrest or not arrest. Here in Miami-Dade County, we have three times the volume of cases as anyone else in the State. We have more courts and more cases. But that also means we have more opportunities for a patchwork of decisions. The same thing is happening all over the state in every jurisdiction. Even in Monroe County. They have only had two cases involving the Stand Your Ground law but those two are reflective of the lack of continuity in how the law is applied. Don [Horn] observed that when you look at the cases throughout the state, the law is interpreted in a number of ways. For the most part the panel seemed to be open-minded. We did not go into any deliberations today it was just about input. The panel asked a lot of provocative questions, particularly the sheriff from Orlando [Jerry L. Demings, Orange County, member of the task force]. The afternoon was devoted to public comment including the family of Trayvon Martin who attended and spoke, along with their attorney Mr. Crump. Both of Trayvons parents were there and what really struck a chord were the final words of his father, Tracy Martin. He asked us to please review this law carefully to make sure its right and just. Then he reminded us that Sunday is Fathers Day. While many fathers will be enjoying the day with their children, hell be visiting his sons grave. Its a huge loss for him and his family. By D. Kevin McNeirkmcneir@miamitimesonline.com