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George Zimmerman

Miami judge: New stand-your-ground law is unconstitutional

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A judge ruled Monday that Florida’s lawmakers overstepped their authority in updating the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law. In ruling the law unconstitutional, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Milton Hirsch said Monday that the changes should have been crafted by the Florida Supreme Court instead of by the Legislature. The Miami Herald reports that the 14-page order is a victory for prosecutors who have firmly opposed the law. Critics have said the law makes it easier for defendants to get away with murder and…

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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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State could flip burden of proving ‘Stand Your Ground’

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Florida’s “stand your ground” law, a source of contention for years, could soon provide even more protection to people who invoke it. Some lawmakers want to make prosecutors prove a defendant wasn’t acting in self-defense before proceeding to trial. Florida has been a leader in giving citizens immunity in cases of self-defense, with its “stand your ground” law serving as an emotional point of debate after several high-profile shooting deaths, including that of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin. While at…

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Alicia Garza, co-creator of #BlackLivesMatter, to speak at USF

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Alicia Garza, social activist and co-creator of #BlackLivesMatter, will speak at the University of South Florida at 8 p.m. today (doors open at 7:30 p.m.) as part of the student-run University Lecture Series in the Marshall Student Center Ballroom. The lecture is part of the university’s MLK Commemorative Week, celebrating the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The student organizers of the event expect Garza to engage the audience in a discussion about race relations in America and how her…

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Ken Bone’s past comments come to light in Reddit session

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Ken Bone is learning what it’s like to be famous. The Illinois man who became an internet sensation after asking a question of the candidates while wearing a bright red sweater during Sunday’s presidential debate answered questions on Reddit late Thursday and early Friday. Bone included his Reddit username in a Twitter post announcing the session. Those who looked up the name found Bone has shared his thoughts on everything from images of a pregnant woman in a bikini to…

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Gun safety advocates still don’t like Senate bill loosening Stand Your Ground laws

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Friday marks the fourth anniversary of the death of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed 17-year-old African-American youth shot by George Zimmerman during a neighborhood watch in Sanford. This week, the House Judiciary Committee is likely to take up SB 344, which attempts to loosen the state’s “Stand Your Ground” self-defense laws. The bill is from Orange Park Republican Sen. Rob Bradley, a former prosecutor. In a rare procedural move, which caught several opponents by surprise, Bradley’s bill is set to bypass the…

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Senate advancing bill to change “stand your ground” law

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A bill that would force prosecutors to prove self-defense wasn’t a factor before bringing someone using a “stand your ground” defense to trial advanced in the Senate on Wednesday despite a similar House bill being killed the day before. The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal Justice approved the bill on a 5-1 vote. But its future is in doubt because a companion House bill died the day before on a tie vote. Sen. Rob Bradley said he’s not giving up…

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