Georgia court ponders charges for deputies in stun gun death

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ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia's Supreme Court is deciding whether three sheriff's deputies should be immune from prosecution in the 2017 death of a Black man who authorities repeatedly shot with a stun gun.

A judge last year ruled that Sgt. Henry Lee Copeland and deputies Michael Howell and Rhett Scott were immune from prosecution after a district attorney charged the former Washington County sheriff's deputies with murder in the death of Eurie Martin, 58.

The judge found the deputies' use of force against Martin was justified under Georgia's stand your ground law, which allows for people to defend themselves with violence if they have a reasonable belief they are in bodily danger.

Opponents of the law have been alarmed that the lower court ruling expands the law to cover police officers. In the wake of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis, many people have called for limiting officers' immunity.