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

Sascha Cordner
Sen. Rob Bradley (R-Fleming Island) speaks to Lucia McBath, mother of Jordan Davis, following a Tuesday hearing.

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.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.