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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Strengthening “Stand Your Ground” In Florida

The Florida House and Senate have identical bills moving through their respective chambers to clarify the Sunshine State’s “Stand Your Ground” law (SYG).

If the measure reaches Gov. Rick Scott’s desk and becomes law, it will shift an important burden of proof onto the prosecution in self-defense cases. At present, a person claiming self-defense can still be brought to trial, with all the risks and expenses that implies, despite SYG’s supposed protections. With the clarification in place, the state would have to prove in a pre-trial hearing that a defendant acted wrongly before proceeding to convict on—presumably—an assault or more severe charge.

Another interesting turn of phrase is also in the bills: “The amendments … made by this act are intended to correct misinterpretations … made by the courts.” A welcome way to bring anti-gun prosecutors to heel, perhaps?