Huffpost Politics

Newt Gingrich Calls Trayvon Martin Case A 'Tragedy,' Defends Stand Your Ground Law

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Newt Gingrich said Thursday night he believes the killing of Trayvon Martin is tragic but the investigation is being handled correctly, and that Florida's "stand your ground" law most likely doesn't apply to the case.

"I think Americans can recognize that while this is a tragedy -- and it is a tragedy -- that we're going to relentlessly seek justice, and I think that's the right thing to do," Gingrich told CNN's Piers Morgan, expressing confidence in the ability of the local district attorney to handle the case.

"I'm sure he's going to present the evidence, not just the 911 call but the previous 911 calls and the fact that the police have been dealing with this guy, apparently, for a year. I have faith that the American system of justice will in fact work, and this is why you have a balance between the police and the district attorney."

Morgan followed up on a broader issue, asking, “Isn’t this stand your ground law a lot of old nonsense? Dangerous nonsense, that’s now being abused, left, right and center, by people who just want to shoot people?”

"I think, Piers, you just took an enormous jump," Gingrich responded with a laugh. "That’s like cities that have rules that even if somebody breaks into your house, you can’t defend yourself. Both extremes taken in the wrong direction are false."

Gingrich said that while he didn't know all the facts of the Martin case, he didn't feel the stand your ground law would ultimately apply.

"The young man apparently was not following the person who's being investigated," he said. "Apparently, the shooter was following the young man. That's not a stand your own ground, that's a chase the other person into their ground. And I think you're going to find the law, as interpreted normally, doesn't apply to this case."

Below, a slideshow of politicians' reactions to the Trayvon Martin shooting:

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Politicians React To Trayvon Martin Shooting
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