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Marissa Alexander

House sends back Senate’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ bill

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self defense

The House on Wednesday OK’d the Senate’s fix to the state’s “stand your ground” law to streamline claims of self-defense—with one change. The House version changes the measure (SB 128) to switch the burden of proof to “clear and convincing evidence,” a lower threshold than the Senate’s “beyond a reasonable doubt,” to overcome self-defense. Members voted 74-39 for the amended bill, sending it back across the rotunda. The Republican majority in the Legislature wants to shift the burden to prosecutors, making them disprove a claim…

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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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Senate Rules Committee stands its ground on Stand Your Ground

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A Florida Senate committee overwhelmingly approved the latest attempt to expand the state’s Stand Your Ground self-defense law. On Thursday, the Senate Rules Committee passed the measure after advocates said it would stop unnecessary prosecutions. Opponents alleged it would stop a lot of necessary prosecutions, as well. Senate Bill 128 would allow gun defendants to demand pretrial hearings on their claims of self-defense, putting the burden of proof on prosecutors to prove the defendants used the guns not in self-defense.…

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Self-defense enhancement bill gets Senate companion

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State Sen. Rob Bradley stepped forward on Wednesday and sponsored the Senate companion bill to a proposal by state Rep. Dennis Baxley, father of the state’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law. Bradley — an Orange Park Republican and former state prosecutor — lent his name to Baxley’s cause of tweaking state law to boost the legal standing of defendants who claim they acted in self-defense while using or threatening to use deadly force in a dispute. The identical proposals — HB 169…

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Dennis Baxley files bill to aid self-defense claimants

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State Rep. Dennis Baxley — father of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law — filed a bill Tuesday that would tweak the state’s self-defense statutes. Baxley’s newly filed HB 169 is designed to enhance the legal standing of defendants who claim they acted in self-defense while using or threatening to use deadly force in a dispute. The bill would shift the legal burden of proof away from the person employing a self-defense claim in court — as current law provides — onto “the party seeking to…

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