Pre-Law Academy students at Palm Beach Lakes Community High School recently had the opportunity of attending a panel discussion about Florida’s Stand Your Ground self-defense law. The Forum Club of the Palm Beaches took the lead in organizing and hosting a rational, balanced panel discussion on the argumentative topic. The event took place Thursday, September 19, 2013 at the Palm Beach County Convention Center.
Palm Beach Lakes Community High School Pre-Law students were guests of sponsor Judge Edward Rodgers and Carolyn Williams, widow of the late Gerald Williams for whom the Law Academy is named, the law students listened as all sides of the law were debated by the seven esteemed panelists:
David Simmons (State Senator and author of Florida’s 2005 Stand Your Ground law);
Chris Smith (State Senator and Democratic party leader in the Florida Senate—highest ranking black elected official in Florida);
Krista Marx (Palm Beach County Circuit Court judge—served on the Governor’s special task force which reviewed and reported on the law);
Dave Kerner (State Representative and former police officer appointed to a fall House of Representatives review committee on Stand Your Ground);
William Snyder (Martin County Sheriff and former State Legislator);
Dave Aronberg (Palm Beach County State Attorney and former State Senator);
Patrick Franklin (President and CEO of the Urban League of Palm Beach County).
Immediately following the panel discussion a Q & A session was held at the Convention Center. Senator Chris Smith surprised the students by stopping by Palm Beach Lakes High and toured the school’s one-of-a-kind courtroom and engaged the Law Academy students in a personal rap session on Stand Your Ground and other law-related topics. The Senator’s visit allowed those students who were unable to attend the Forum Club event the opportunity to participate in the important and timely conversation on self-defense in Florida. Senator Smith plans to return to Palm Beach Lakes High in May for Law Week 2014. The attached list contains information about 3 of the panelists involved in the “Stand your Ground” discussion panel.
REF: SDPBC (Press Release) Public Affairs Office) Sept. 2013