Hoyer Statement on Jordan Davis Case

For Immediate Release:

February 20, 2014

Contact:

Stephanie Young, 202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement in response to last weekend's verdict in the Jordan Davis case in Florida:

“I am deeply concerned by the outcome of the Jordan Davis case in Florida this week, and the Davis family deserves justice.  While I continue to believe that our justice system is the best in the world, built upon a constitution that guarantees fair trials and protects the rights of both victims and defendants, there can be no denying that the racial disparities found in recent ‘Stand Your Ground’ cases is alarming.  When 73% of white defendants who have killed African American victims in Florida are found to have acted ‘justifiably’ but 59% were acquitted when the victim was white, we ought to be asking tough questions about whether justice in these cases is truly blind. 

“We must do more as a nation to ensure that our laws and the way they are enforced enhance respect for our justice system – not call it into question.  This means taking a hard look at whether ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws serve the best interests of justice or whether they undermine it and make our communities less safe.  I will continue working with my colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus and across Congress to promote equal justice and equal opportunity under the law for all Americans.” 

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