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Wed Jan 25, 2017, 08:50 AM

Conservative Republican lawmakers to revise Florida's "stand your ground" law

Last edited Wed Jan 25, 2017, 11:00 AM - Edit history (1)

Bill seeks to turn 'stand your ground' around, shift initial burden of proof

TALLAHASSEE An effort by conservative Republican lawmakers to revise Florida's "stand your ground" law is back under consideration with a plausible chance of passing this year, even as opponents again warn that enacting such changes would "water down" the state's gun laws and make it easier for people to kill without consequence.

http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/the-buzz-florida-politics/proposed-changes-to-floridas-stand-your-ground-law-again-divide/2310724

9 replies, 2630 views

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Reply Conservative Republican lawmakers to revise Florida's "stand your ground" law (Original post)
HAB911 Jan 2017 OP
TheMastersNemesis Jan 2017 #1
1965Comet Jan 2017 #2
gejohnston Jan 2017 #3
1965Comet Jan 2017 #4
gejohnston Jan 2017 #5
ManiacJoe Jan 2017 #6
HAB911 Jan 2017 #7
gejohnston Jan 2017 #8
HAB911 Jan 2017 #9

Response to HAB911 (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2017, 09:04 AM

1. Shoot To Kill For Stepping Your Grass Law.

 

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Response to HAB911 (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2017, 09:15 AM

2. I'm not sure where I stand on this change,

 

but the below quote is just wrong, legally speaking. This change would make it harder for a prosecutor to bring a case to trial beyond the invocation of the SYG defense at the initial hearing. Thus, the defendant's rights would not be prejudiced at all but would rather be enhanced (at least, if you believe that there is a right to shoot without retreat, and it seems that there is in FL at the moment).

Double Jeopardy doesn't enter into this at all, since the prosecutors are the ones being hurt by this rule.


"The plan also raises among critics renewed constitutional questions of double jeopardy in that requiring a burden of proof of "beyond a reasonable doubt" would essentially force prosecutors to try a case twice, once before trial and then at the trial itself. "

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Response to 1965Comet (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 25, 2017, 12:29 PM

3. it is about the immunity hearing

How it works now is that the shooter can ask for an immunity hearing. If the shooter can convince the judge that it was self-defense by preponderance of the evidence no trial happens. If not, it goes to trial and the State has to prove it wasn't BARD. That is the only thing that makes Florida's self-defense law unique.
Florida did not invent SYG. Assuming the previous common law was DTR, which I don't know if it is or not,
All but 16 states have SYG, the oldest being California. All federal jurisdictions are SYG. I live in one of the few DTR states, but there are large areas including a sovereign nation within the state that is SYG. Given the our sparse population and low crime rate, nobody seems to care. Some state rep wrote a SYG amendment a few years ago when they clarified our Castle Doctrine, but the amendment died in committee.

From what I have seen, duty to retreat is probably uniquely US. Even the UK is SYG, they just have a different definition of reasonable force.

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Response to gejohnston (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 25, 2017, 12:33 PM

4. I know what it is about

 

I live in FL, after all. Tough to avoid the SYG issue a few years ago.

My point was that the concern about the legal issue of "double jeopardy" makes no sense, since the proposed change would actually force the prosecutor two prove things twice, and not the defendant.

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Response to 1965Comet (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 25, 2017, 01:15 PM

5. The proposed change would

effectively end the immunity hearing. Another reason it wouldn't be double jeopardy is that the defendant can opt in.
My wife is from St Petersburg, and I have property in Citrus County.

I don't know who the politician is, but I doubt he is a lawyer, neither am I, or very bright. But then, most politicians don't seem to be very bright.

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Response to HAB911 (Original post)

Thu Jan 26, 2017, 11:56 AM

7. Editorial: Block changes to 'stand your ground'

Bad ideas never die for good in the Florida Legislature. They are just resurrected the next year with new bill numbers. That is the case with a renewed effort to stand the criminal justice system on its head by making it easier for defendants to hide behind Florida's ''stand your ground'' law and get away with murder. The reasoning is just as flawed as it was last year, and lawmakers should kill it again this year.

Sen. Rob Bradley's bill, SB 128, squeaked through the Senate Judiciary Committee this week by a 5-4 vote with Republicans supporting it and Democrats opposing it. If history repeats itself, the Fleming Island Republican's legislation will sail along in the Senate as it did last year. It will again be up to the House to stand with prosecutors, law enforcement officers and common sense and reject it.

This is just another attempt by the same legislators who want guns openly carried everywhere to make it easier to shoot someone and successfully claim self-defense. Now, defendants invoking ''stand your ground'' have to show by a preponderance of evidence in a pretrial hearing that they qualify for that immunity. Bradley's bill would require prosecutors to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant cannot invoke ''stand your ground.'' That flips the burden of proof from the defendant to the prosecutor and sets an even higher standard for prosecutors to be successful than defendants have now.

http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-block-changes-to-stand-your-ground/2310895

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Response to HAB911 (Reply #7)

Fri Jan 27, 2017, 11:58 PM

8. dumb op ed,

there is no such thing as "invoke stand your ground", you just claim self-defense. Stand Your Ground simply means no duty to retreat. Also, the immunity hearing is voluntary, at the discretion of the defendant and council. It does not make it easier to claim self-defense, because the five principles do not change.
Currently, the law is if the defendant chooses the immunity hearing, they have to show by preponderance of the evidence it was self-defense. If the judge is not convinced, it goes to trial where the State has to prove otherwise BARD.
Of course the defendant can opt out of the less expensive immunity hearing, which is what Zimmerman did, the State still has to prove BARD.

As for open carry in Florida, it was banned in 1893 because some white people were triggered by black migrant workers open carrying. The current open carry exceptions in Florida are quite reasonable, and is a dumbassed nonissue. I think the gun rights people are wasting their time and energy on it.

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Response to gejohnston (Reply #8)

Sat Jan 28, 2017, 08:56 AM

9. Thanks for sharing your opinion..........n/t

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