New 'Stand Your Ground' Law Fails Florida Court Test
A second Miami judge has ruled that the Florida Legislature’s decision to broaden the protection of the long controversial “Stand Your Ground” self-defense law is unconstitutional.
The ruling adds to an ongoing legal fight over whether lawmakers overstepped their authority when they revised the law to shift the burden to prosecutors, who are now forced to disprove a defendant’s claim of self-defense in hearings mandated before any trial can take place.
Last month, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Milton Hirsch ruled that under the state’s constitution, only the Florida Supreme Court could make that change. The state is challenging the ruling to an appellate court, putting the Florida Attorney General’s Office in the unusual position of siding with a criminal defendant. Statewide, prosecutors originally opposed the change to the law.