General Board of Church & Society says 'Stand Your Ground' legislation underscores 'profound failures' of U.S. justice system.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The United Methodist General Board of Church & Society (GBCS) issued a statement this week (March 27), signed by General Secretary Jim Winkler, Director of Civil & Human Rights Bill Mefford, and National Coordinator for Restorative Justice Laura Markle Downton, expressing grave concern about what the "senseless killing" of Florida teen Trayvon Martin "reveals about … the profound inability of our current system to bring about justice, particularly for communities of color."
GBCS calls for the full repeal of all "Stand Your Ground" legislation, such as that passed by the Florida legislature in 2005, which allows the use of deadly force whenever a person feels a reasonable fear of death or serious injury. The agency says versions exist in more than 20 states.
The General Board of Church & Society is one of four international general program boards of The United Methodist Church. Prime responsibility of the board is to seek implementation of the Social Principles and other policy statements on Christian social concerns of the General Conference, the denomination's highest policy-making body. The board's primary areas of ministry are Advocacy, Education & Leadership Formation, United Nations & International Affairs, and resourcing these areas for the denomination. It has offices on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., and at the Church Center for the United Nations in New York City.