Thursday, July 18, 2013

UCM Athens to hold Justice for Trayvon vigil

ATHENS – United Campus Ministries is holding a Justice For Trayvon vigil at the Athens County Courthouse Monday, July 22 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The courthouse is located on the corner of Court Street and Washington Street in Uptown Athens.

For several years the midday vigil has focused on protesting war and social injustice. 

UCM is encouraging participants to bring signs in support of justice for Trayvon Martin, the Sanford, Fla teenager shot to death while walking home.

In a trial that divided much of the country, a Seminole County jury on July 13, found defendant George Zimmerman, 28, not guilty in the death of 17-year-old Martin. Zimmerman was charged with shooting the Sanford teenager once in the chest February 26, 2012 during a confrontation at the Retreat at Twin Lakes.

Prosecutors had charged Zimmerman, a self-described community watchman, with second-degree murder with a lessor and included charge of manslaughter, arguing Zimmerman initiated the confrontation while Martin was walking home at the time of his death. Zimmerman and Martin were both residents of the community.

The verdict has raised nationwide concerns over Florida’s Stand Your Ground. Enacted in 2005, the statute allows someone who believed their live was in danger or they were in danger of grievous bodily harm to use lethal force. The law expanded the definition of self-defense and can immunize the use of deadly force.

In the days following the verdict, artists and performers, notably singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder, have announced they will not perform in Florida venues until the state legislature to repeal the controversial law

The Congressional Black Caucus is reportedly working on a number of bills designed to limit the use of so-called stand your ground laws as a defense in federal cases.

Incorporated in 1968, UCM's stated mission is to engage the Ohio University and Athens County communities in spiritual growth, community service and work for justice, guided by socially progressive and interfaith values.

Twitter @cleverpeasant 

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