ABA National Stand Your Ground Laws Task Force to Hold Public Hearing in Chicago

CHICAGO, April 22, 2013 — The _’s National Task Force on Stand Your Ground Laws will hold a Midwest regional public hearing from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, May 2, at ABA headquarters, 321 N. Clark St., in Chicago.

Convened to review, analyze and assess the recently enacted state Stand Your Ground laws, the task force is also charged with examining the potential effects these laws may have on public safety, individual liberties and the criminal justice system.

Local and regional expert witnesses and stakeholders, including law enforcement, prosecutors, public and private criminal defense attorneys and legal academics, have been invited to testify on the effects of Stand Your Ground laws in the Midwest, where several states have enacted similar self-defense statutes. Testimony may be given in person or in writing.

Those who wish to testify may contact Rachel Patrick, staff director for the ABA Coalition on Racial and Ethnic Justice, at 312-988-5408 or via email at .

The task force is made up of members from ABA entities, law enforcement, government, state prosecutors’ offices, public and private criminal practice, academia and other legal arenas.

Leigh-Ann Buchanan of Miami and Jack Middleton of Manchester, N.H., serve as co-chairpersons of the task force.

The first of four regional Stand Your Ground hearings was conducted during the ABA Midyear Meeting in Dallas on Feb. 8.

Leading the task force is the Coalition on Racial and Ethnic Justice. Other ABA partners are the Center for Racial and Ethnic Diversity, which includes the Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession and the Council on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Educational Pipeline, as well as the Young Lawyers Division, the Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities, and the Criminal Justice Section.

With nearly 400,000 members, the _ is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.

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