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self-defense

Senate votes to clear up ‘mistakes’ in self-defense law for homeowners

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A bill clarifying that homeowners need not wait to be attacked inside their dwellings before resorting to defensive force passed the Senate Thursday. CS/CS/SB 1052 would reconcile conflicting statutes involving self-defense, correcting drafting errors muddying the legal situation made in 2014 legislation, bill sponsor David Simmons said. “Senators, this protects all of us in our own home. It’s rational. It’s reasonable. It brings us back to the way it was prior to the mistakes that were made in 2014, drafting errors,” Simpson said.…

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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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Democrats decry change to ‘stand your ground’ law

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Perry Thurston

A critic of the state’s “stand your ground” law Wednesday said a change to the law now moving through the Legislature will “make it easier for people to murder other human beings.” Lawmakers now are considering shifting the burden to prosecutors, making them disprove a claim of self-defense. Sen. Perry Thurston, a Fort Lauderdale Democrat, called that making “a bad law worse.” He appeared with several fellow Democrats at a morning press conference in the Capitol. The stand your ground…

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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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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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Senate passes stand your ground expansion, gun bills

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The Florida Senate has passed a bill that would expand the state’s “stand your ground” law to place more burden on prosecutors to prove self-defense wasn’t a factor when charging someone with assaulting or killing another person. The Senate voted 24-12 for the bill on Thursday. If the bill becomes law, the state would have to prove at a pretrial hearing that a defendant invoking stand your ground wasn’t acting in self-defense. Right now the burden of proof is on…

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