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Lawmakers Double Down On 'Stand Your Ground' Law

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Austen Diamond
/
KUER

The Utah House of Representatives is reinforcing a key provision of Utah’s "Stand Your Ground” law, the controversial statute that allows armed individuals to use lethal force in self-defense.

Rep. Cory Maloy, R-Lehi, is the bill’s sponsor. He said the legislation adds more clarity to Utah’s self-defense law.

“It tells us when self-defense is justified. It tells us when self-defense is not justified — and when it is justified, that there is no need to retreat before you exercise your right to self-defense," he said during floor debate.

Legislation passed on Monday adds language that makes it clear that a person’s ability to retreat is not a relevant factor for investigators and prosecutors in determining whether that person acted reasonably.

The bill coasted through the chamber 58-11, despite near unanimous opposition from House Democrats.

Democrats say the measure is unnecessary and will only escalate violent situations.

 

"I can't support this bill because I really don't understand what it changes in the law," said Rep. Angela Romero, D-Salt Lake.

 

Julia joined KUER in 2016 after a year reporting at the NPR member station in Reno, Nev. During her stint, she covered battleground politics, school overcrowding, and any story that would take her to the crystal blue shores of Lake Tahoe. Her work earned her two regional Edward R. Murrow awards. Originally from the mountains of Western North Carolina, Julia graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2008 with a degree in journalism. She’s worked as both a print and radio reporter in several states and several countries — from the 2008 Beijing Olympics to Dakar, Senegal. Her curiosity about the American West led her to take a spontaneous, one-way road trip to the Great Basin, where she intends to continue preaching the gospel of community journalism, public radio and podcasting. In her spare time, you’ll find her hanging with her beagle Bodhi, taking pictures of her food and watching Patrick Swayze movies.
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