from The Great Debate:

The deadly consequences of ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws

By Mark Hoekstra
February 13, 2014

The trial of Michael Dunn in Florida has again raised questions about Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law. Dunn, 47, is charged with fatally shooting Jordan Davis, an unarmed 17-year-old, in the parking lot of a Jacksonville convenience store, over loud music. Many questions swirl around whether Dunn was legally justified under current Florida law, as he insists he was, to fire into the car where Davis sat listening to music. As the jury deliberates, there will be many more discussions about how factors like race and the jury’s interpretation of Stand Your Ground determine the verdict.

from Nicholas Wapshott:

Will conservatives tackle the racists in their midst?

By Nicholas Wapshott
July 24, 2013

President Obama’s remarks about what it is to be an African-American in America have disturbed those who prefer to believe our nation is color-blind. That was always a myth, like the notion we are a “melting pot” of nationalities, all heaving together toward a common end. Even in New York, the most cosmopolitan of cities, racial groups tend to keep to themselves and differences survive across generations.

from The Great Debate:

Obama takes on the presumption of thuggery that permeates Martin case

By David Dante Troutt
July 24, 2013

Everyone looks to their president for protection against calamity, and black voters are no different. One little discussed fact of the Obama presidency is how it has been a singularly disastrous economic period for the first black president’s most loyal constituency: black people.

from The Great Debate:

Can federal charges be brought against Zimmerman?

By William Yeomans
July 23, 2013

Now that a Florida jury has found George Zimmerman not guilty of second degree murder and manslaughter, people across the nation are demanding federal prosecution. But this public debate has been clouded by misinformation about the possibility and scope of federal charges.

from The Great Debate:

The two trials of Zimmerman: ‘The Wire’ v. ‘CSI’

By Neal Gabler
July 15, 2013

Now the jury has spoken on the question that riveted the public and filled cable news to the gills: Whether George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, murdered a black teenager Trayvon Martin because he happened to be a black kid in the wrong place at the wrong time and in the wrong outfit.

from Nicholas Wapshott:

Zimmerman: A trial that was all about race

By Nicholas Wapshott
July 14, 2013

Will George Zimmerman’s trial for the killing of Trayvon Martin and the all-too predictable acquittal change anything?

from Stories I’d like to see:

Selling artificial knees, analyzing the Trayvon Martin trial, and Random House cancels Paula Deen’s cookbook

By Steven Brill
July 1, 2013

 

When Madison Avenue pitches artificial knees, do we all pay?

Americans -- personally, or through private insurance or Medicare -- spend more than $12 billion a year on artificial knees and hips. That’s more than Hollywood takes in at the box office.

from Bernd Debusmann:

Florida, standing its ground, will allow guns at the Republican convention

By Bernd Debusmann
May 7, 2012

File this under the rubric Only in America – sticks, poles and water guns will be banned from the centre of Tampa at the Republican Party’s national convention next August. Guns, however, will be allowed. The logic behind that is drawn from the U.S. constitution. How so?

from The Great Debate:

The secretive corporate outfit behind ‘Stand Your Ground’

By Joanne Doroshow
April 13, 2012

For many years, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has been a particularly influential organization that has promoted the agenda of corporate America and the political right in state legislatures nationwide, but about which the public has known little. ALEC’s members, who work together to draft model bills, consist of state legislators, who pay little to join, and corporations and trade associations, who pay hefty membership fees. These fees purchase influence over ALEC’s agenda and access to lawmakers. Because ALEC’s issue-areas are quite broad – voter IDs, consumer protection, healthcare, education, the environment and guns, to name a few – not every ALEC bill connects to a particular company’s financial interests. Until now, associating with ALEC’s range of issues seems not to have been much of a problem for most companies, well worth the payoff of having their favored bills promoted. That’s why the stream of recent defections of some of ALEC’s highest-profile corporate members – McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Mars, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Intuit and Kraft – has been so extraordinary.

from Unstructured Finance:

Diversity on Wall Street, or a lack thereof

March 30, 2012

By Matthew Goldstein

The shooting death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teen in Florida, has evoked a lot of debate about race in America and the nation’s attitudes to what it means to be a minority.