By Fred Hamilton
BOCA RATON —Florida Atlantic University is offering a course that concentrates on the state’s “stand your ground” self-defense law.
The course is being offered during fall semester by FAU’s School of Public Administration at the Boca Raton campus.
Program coordinator Richard Mangan says national publicity surrounding the recent George Zimmerman trial in central Florida helped spur the creation of the course. It’s being offered as an elective.
“After the enormous publicity associated with the George Zimmerman trial, we felt that such an important and current issue should be offered as an elective course in the School of Public Administration, Bachelor of Public Safety Administration degree program,” Mangan said. “There are approximately 26 states with similar statutes, so the issue has national ramifications.”
Your Town – Local News for South FloridaThe course, taught by adjunct professor Frank de la Torre, is designed to present a current, comprehensive overview of Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. It will start with a discussion concerning how the law was instituted in Florida, and will review Florida cases including Florida Supreme Court cases that have interpreted the controversial Stand Your Ground statute.
Florida Statute 776 will be thoroughly studied including, use of force in defense of person; home protection after the Stand Your Ground statute; as well as the effect of the statute when a person is in a vehicle. The issues of protection of a third party and protection of property as it relates to the Stand your Ground statute also will be discussed, and the effect of a person’s civil liability after granting of Stand Your Immunity also will be reviewed. The proper appellate remedies to be taken if a Stand Your Ground motion is denied will be taught, and the course will ask the question, “Do we need the Stand Your Ground Statute?”
The chief assistant public defender and a felony division supervisor within the Broward County Public Defender’s Office for the past 30 years, de la Torre has tried criminal trials from petit theft to first degree murders, and litigated six Stand Your Ground hearings. He has been an adjunct professor in FAU’s School of Criminology and Criminal Justice since 1995.