Mitch Perry Report 7.31.13 - Is Weatherford sincere on possibly reviewing Stand Your Ground?

The student activists known as the Dream Defenders are continuing their vigil in the state Capitol today. Their presence has become a destination point for historic civil rights activists to pay homage, such as Harry Belafonte and yesterday, the Reverend Jesse Jackson. 

Cynics say they're fighting a losing cause, as there appears to be little to no momentum for their call for a special session to address the Stand Your Ground Law, legislation that has become world famous in the wake of the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case.

But maybe, just maybe, they are making an incremental difference. 

House Speaker WIll Weatherford told the Tampa Tribune's editorial board yesterday that he is willing to consider legislation to change the controversial law but first wants to see a "consistent, unified message from law enforcement officials on what changes are needed."

Well, we've read in the past that there have been a lot of local law enforcement officials up and down the state who have said they don't like all aspects of this law. So if they're sincere, now's the time to come together to draft a proposal and get it in front of an influential legislator.

Otherwise, Weatherford's words will go down in vain.

Tampa state Representative Janet Cruz told CL yesterday that she doesn't believe there will be a special session, but said she does want to see the law addressed early in next year's regular session. 

Cruz hosted a job fair in West Tampa that brought close to a thousand people poring through Higgins Hall yesterday looking for work.

You knew this was coming: Republicans as a whole, we'll say, aren't big Jay-Z fans. So when the rap superstar and his equally famed partner Beyonce went down to Cuba a few months ago, you knew there'd be payback. And there is, in the form of an amendment that passed a House Appropriations Committee earlier this week that would severely reduce the ability of Americans to travel to Cuba.

And John Errol Ferguson is scheduled to be executed next Monday in Florida. The 65-year-old killed eight people back in the late 1970's and has been on death row for 35 years. But the American Bar Association believes he is seriously mentally ill, and wants the Supreme Court to  determine if he is mentally competent before being executed.

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