DAILY GRINDER: Council Resolution to Repeal ‘Castle Doctrine’ After Trayvon Killing
In light of Trayvon Martin’s murder making national headlines, and the arrest of shooter George Zimmerman this week, Philadelphia City Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr. thinks we need to change our state’s laws so the same shit doesn’t happen here. And since some of the controversy in the case allegedly revolves around the Florida police’s hands being tied by that state’s “Stand your ground” law, he wants Pennsylvania to repeal the “Castle Doctrine.” The Castle Doctrine, a less extreme version of some states’ Stand Your Ground laws, was signed last year by Gov. Tom Corbett after having been vetoed by former Gov. Ed Rendell. Jones says his resolution is meant to avoid future kills and riots. “We’re asking the legislature to repeal that law because copycats are everywhere and so they are going to test the theory of whether or not you can be the aggressor based on some trumped up reason,” Jones said. “We don’t know what’s going to happen in court whether the assailant will be found guilty or innocent. But I can tell you if he is found innocent there will be replications of that and people will be fighting in the streets like in the Old West.”
Jones also introduced a bill to Council amending the Philadelphia fire code which would allow one and two family dwelling to use battery-powered smoke alarms “if they are equipped with 10-year non-removable (sealed) batteries.” Council also honored fallen firefighters Lt. Robert Neary and Daniel Sweeny with a moment of silent and resolutions.
Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers says the investigation into the Kensington fire which killed Neary and Sweeny could take some time. “There are tons and tons of rubble in there, beams partially burned,” Ayers said of the former warehouse at Jasper and York streets. “All of those things have to be carefully examined…It’s a very arduous process.”
Bob Casey has $5.2 million in his senate re-election campaign account. That’s more than he had the first time around. And this time, he doesn’t even have an opponent, yet. Best of all for the silent senator, once he does have an opponent, no one will have ever heard of the guy.
Thirty-three members of the state House and Senate have endorsed the PA-endorsed Steve Welch for the U.S. Senate race in Pennsylvania. That makes a total of 34 people who’ve heard of Welch. Thirty-five if you count Sen. Bob Casey, but that’s speculation.
New Pennsylvania district maps revealed. Take a click if you’ve got a few minutes, or more, to kill.
And congrats to my colleagues at Philadelphia Weekly, who yesterday won a combined 13 Keystone Press Awards. That includes the entire staff taking 1st place in the Breaking News and Series Category for our ongoing coverage of Occupy Philly last fall, as well as 1st place for last year’s “Rape” special issue. Tara Murtha won a Distinguished Writing Award and First Place for her Periscopin’ column. Michael Alan Goldberg took first place for General News Writing and 2nd place in the Sports Category. And PW Senior Editor Nina Hoffmann won 2nd place for Investigative Reporting for a 2011 cover story. Awesome work, peeps!