ATLANTA - Gov. Nathan Deal is weighing in on the controversial acquittal of former Florida neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman.
A jury cleared Zimmerman of murder charges in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman maintains it was an act of self-defense.
The case has placed Florida’s ‘stand your ground’ law under scrutiny, and similar laws across the country. Georgia's version was enacted in 2006, and like Florida's, it allows the use lethal force in some situations.
“I’m fairly sure that there will be somebody in the General Assembly who will ask us to at least revisit and look at the Stand Your Ground legislation that was passed in 2006,” Deal said. “I don't see anything out of the ordinary in terms of that statute. It is very similar to the statute in other states, including the state of Florida.”
He stood by the law, but said local lawmakers have the ultimate say.
“It would be an issue that would be very emotionally charged if it comes before the General Assembly … I don't see any reason to change it, but there again, that is the will of the General Assembly that will prevail on that issue,” Deal said.
Local protesters took to the streets after Saturday’s verdict, upset by the jury’s decision. Deal said they’ve handled themselves well.
“Obviously, I am pleased at this point in time that we have not had any violent demonstrations. I think that says a lot about the folks who don't agree with the jury verdict but nevertheless respect the processes and the rule of law as do I,” Deal said.