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Florida could pave new changes in ‘stand your ground’ laws

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Lucy McBath is afraid many more people will die if Florida Gov. Rick Scott signs a bill making it harder to prosecute when people claim they commit violence in self-defense. She already lost her son, an unarmed black teenager, when a white man angry over loud music and claiming self-defense fired 10 times at an SUV filled with teenagers. The measure before Scott would effectively require a trial-before-a-trial whenever someone invokes self-defense, making prosecutors prove the suspect doesn’t deserve immunity.…

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House amends Senate’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ bill

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The House on Tuesday began consideration of a Senate bill changing the state’s “stand your ground” law to make it easier to claim self-defense. But the House soon amended the measure (SB 128) to change the burden of proof to overcome self-defense to “clear and convincing evidence,” a lower threshold than the Senate’s “beyond a reasonable doubt.” The burden would be on “the party seeking to overcome the immunity from criminal prosecution,” usually prosecutors, requiring a separate mini-trial, of sorts. House Democratic Leader…

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Andrew Warren slams proposed bill that would shift the burden of proof in Stand Your Ground cases

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Elected on a platform of wanting to reform much of Hillsborough County’s current system of justice,State Attorney Andrew Warren is voicing his strong opposition to a measure pending in the Florida Legislature that would shift the burden of proof in ‘Stand Your Ground’ self-defense cases. The bill, sponsored by Fleming Island Republican Rob Bradley (SB 128), would shift the burden of proof to prosecutors during evidentiary hearings in self-defense cases. It stems from a Florida Supreme Court ruling in 2015 that…

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House committee passes controversial changes to ‘Stand Your Ground’

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Members of the House Subcommittee on Criminal Justice passed a highly-contested bill Tuesday, potentially changing the state’s “Stand Your Ground” self-defense laws. If passed, it would place the burden of proof on the prosecution (or state) in cases of those who claim self-defense immunity in acts of violence when brought before judiciary proceedings. HB 245 was co-sponsored by 41 legislators, led by Rep. Bobby Payne, who was present at the subcommittee. The bill gives procedural clarification in those cases of…

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Moms Demand Action promise to be a presence during 2017 Legislative Session

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Late last week, a federal appeal court struck down an NRA-backed law that restricted doctors in Florida from talking to patients about gun safety. The legislation, often referred to as “Docs vs. Glocks,” passed during the 2011 Legislative session. It said doctors could be censored, fined, and have licenses revoked if asked or talked to patients about their firearms. The court ruling stands out as a rare loss for the National Rifle Association in Florida, but only because they haven’t faced strong…

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Busy week for fundraising ahead of 2017 Legislative Session

in Statewide by

There’s one committee week left until the start of the 2017 Legislative Session, and you can bet lawmakers will be doing more than just debating the merits of their bills during their time in the capital city this week. House Majority, the campaign arm of the Florida GOP, will host fundraisers for several House Republicans, all of which are running for re-election, this week. On Feb. 21, there is a fundraiser for Reps. Chuck Clemons and Bobby Payne at noon at The Governor’s Inn, 209 S.…

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Latest on the legislative staffing merry-go-round

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

With a tip of the hat to LobbyTools, here are the latest movements – both on and off – of the legislative merry-go-round. On and off: Tiffany Harrington has replaced Heather Williamson as House staff director of the Joint Select Committee on Collective Bargaining. On: Teri Cariota, formerly an aide to former Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda, is now a legislative assistant to Miami Democratic Rep. Roy Hardemon. On: Venusmia Lovely, formerly an aide to Sen. Dwight Bullard, is also a district…

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