Proposal to strengthen Utah’s stand-your-ground law approved

Proposal to strengthen Utah’s stand-your-ground law approved

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A panel of Utah lawmakers has approved a measure to strengthen the state’s stand-your-ground self-defense law.

Republican Rep. Cory Maloy’s proposal approved Tuesday would make it clear that people don’t need to try to run away before using force, including deadly force. It now moves to the House floor.

If someone is prosecuted for using force, courts couldn’t hear evidence about whether the person tried to flee first. He says that will keep people from being “re-victimized” after they’ve had to defend themselves.

At least 22 states have stand-your-ground laws. They’ve have been scrutinized after high-profile shooting deaths like that of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida in 2012.

Democrats voting against Utah’s bill say they worry about taking decisions away from juries, especially when racial bias is a possible factor.