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Trayvon Martin's mother urges changes in stand-your-ground laws

Tuesday - 10/29/2013, 3:10pm  ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The mother of Trayvon Martin has told a Senate panel that stand-your-ground laws like the one in Florida don't work, and that they need to be changed.

Last year's shooting death of the 17-year-old Martin by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman sparked debate over the self-defense laws that are on the books in more than 20 states.

Senate Democrats today have been supporting Sybrina Fulton's call for changes in those laws -- but Republicans say that's up to the states that passed them.

Fulton told the panel that she attended the hearing so senators can "at least put a face with what has happened with this tragedy." She said, "The person that shot and killed my son is walking the streets today. This law does not work."

There appears to be little willingness in Congress to weigh in on the laws in those states with some form of the stand-your-ground policy. The laws generally cancel a person's duty to retreat in the face of a serious physical attack.

In next year's midterm elections, 35 seats are at stake in the Senate, and all 435 seats in the House -- and gun control remains a politically divisive issue.

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APPHOTO DCMC110: Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, center, and her attorney Benjamin Crump, right, leave at the conclusion of a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on so-called "stand your ground laws," Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Fulton told a panel of senators Tuesday that state stand your ground self-defense laws do not work and must be amended, reviving the politically charged gun control issue. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) (29 Oct 2013)

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APPHOTO DCMC112: Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights, left, speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013, during the subcommittee's hearing on "stand your ground laws." Subcommittee Chairman Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill. us at right. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) (29 Oct 2013)

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