WASHINGTON, D.C. - One U.S. Senator wants more accountability when it comes to Stand Your Ground incidents.
Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin says the laws are resulting in killers getting off the hook. "It is clear that these laws often go too far in encouraging confrontations to escalate into deadly violence" says Durbin.
26 states have passed some form of the law since 2005. Several studies suggest there are an additional 600 homicides every year as a result.
Trayvon Martin's mother spoke at the hearing. Her son was killed by George Zimmerman who claimed he was being attack by Martin. She says if the law didn't exist, her son's killer would be in prison.
"Imagine how you would feel if you lost a child or a loved one to random violence and then watched their admitted killer evade justice" says Sybrina Fulton, Martin's mother. "Words could never capture the feeling of devastation losing my son caused me, nor can they explain the betrayal I felt as I watched his killer go free."
Zimmerman was found not guilty by a jury.
Many also feel "Stand Your Ground" laws lends itself to racial disparities in the justice system. Some studies say 17% of these cases involve white shooters and black victims.
"In non-stand your ground states... whites are 250% more likely to prevail on a theory of justified homicide of a black person as compared to a white victim" says Ronald Sullivan, Director of the Criminal Justice Institute at Harvard Law School. "In Stand Your Ground states, whites are 354% more likely to prevail."