Despite Opposition, Stand Your Ground-Related Bill Clears First Committee

Oct 20, 2015

Florida lawmakers are moving forward an effort to change the role of State Attorneys who prosecute a Stand Your Ground case.

Sen. Rob Bradley (R-Fleming Island) is the bill’s sponsor.

“The [Jared] Bretherick v. state case, which was just decided by the Florida Supreme Court, was decided on the question of legislative intent,” he said. “I happen to think who better to define legislative intent than the legislature.”

Today, someone claiming self-defense must first prove their claim is justified, to avoid a trial. The matter was before the Florida Supreme Court, which stated shifting the burden of proof to state attorneys requires them to prove their case twice. Bradley’s bill stems from the dissenting opinion of two of the seven justices.

Lucia McBath, mother of Jordan Davis, spoke out against the measure. Her son is the Jacksonville teen shot to death, in a dispute over loud music.

“In honor of Trayvon Martin, in honor of my son Jordan, in honor of all the sons and daughters who’ve died as a result of the senseless gun violence in our country, I implore you to reject expanding Stand Your Ground in Florida and vote ‘no’ on this life-threatening legislation,” said McBath, during Tuesday's committee hearing.

But, the measure passed the Senate Criminal Justice Committee 4-1.

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