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The Boston Globe

Nation

Eric Holder criticizes Stand Your Ground laws

4 jurors distance themselves from colleague’s words

ORLANDO, Fla. — Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. strongly condemned ‘‘Stand Your Ground’’ laws Tuesday, saying the measures ‘‘senselessly expand the concept of self-defense’’ and may encourage ‘‘violent situations to escalate.’’

On the books in more than 30 states, the statutes have become a focal point of a complicated national debate over race, crime, and culpability in the aftermath of the shooting of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old, by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Fla. The volunteer, George Zimmerman, was acquitted of murder and manslaughter charges on Saturday.

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