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Elizabeth Warren Questions 'Stand Your Ground' Laws

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Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, listens as Ben S. Bernanke, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, not seen, answers a question during his semi-annual monetary policy report to the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee during a hearing on Capitol Hill, in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 18, 2013. Bernanke said one reason for the recent rise in long-term interest rates is the unwinding of leveraged and 'excessively risky' investing. Photographer: Pe | Getty

Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and the recently sworn in Ed Markey (D-Mass.) suggested on Monday that state "Stand Your Ground" self-defense laws should be reviewed in the wake of the George Zimmerman trial.

Speaking at a joint appearance in South Boston, Warren said the jury's decision to acquit Zimmerman in the 2012 killing of unarmed Florida teen Trayvon Martin should be accepted. But she said that there was reasonable criticism of "Stand Your Ground" statutes, which eliminate the "duty to retreat" and allow perceived victims to use deadly force if they reasonably fear for their lives or great bodily harm.

According to the Associated Press, Warren said the goal should be to create a country "not just where some of us are safe, but where all of our children are safe."

Markey also suggested that it was time to start "paring back" the laws, suggesting they could encourage armed individuals to confront others knowing that they could legally use a firearm if they felt threatened.

While Zimmerman's attorneys ultimately didn't use "Stand Your Ground" in his defense, the statute did play a role throughout the case, beginning immediately after the shooting, when it took six weeks for him to be taken into custody due to his contention that he was justified in killing Martin. "Stand Your Ground" later appeared in instructions to the jury explaining Zimmerman's possible defenses, and was mentioned by a juror this month as a reason for the not-guilty verdict.

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