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Burden Of Proof Shifts In Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” Law

March 24, 2017

The Florida Senate proposed a bill that make it more difficult for the state to convict killers and others who claim self-defense. The bill, Senate Bill 128, brings changes to those who claim to have killed in self-defense.  The new law would allow these people to petition a pre-trial immunity hearing that would force the state to swiftly prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the defendant is untruthful.

The bill, dubbed ‘Stand Your Ground’ relies on prosecution rather than the defense to prove the case. The bill was approved 23-15, meaning now that prosecutors are going to have to work harder to prove that the defendant cannot use a ‘stand your ground’ defense.

The ‘Stand Your Ground’ defense claim is that each individual has the legal right to be at a certain place, he has no duty to retreat from a threat and can defend himself from threats. Once used as an argument, his will now be used as a root in the case of the prosecution.

Senate Democrats see SB 128 as a shoot and kill bill that they believe will generate even more shootings. Those who support the bill say the prosecution should always have the burden of proof to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that another person committed an act of murder.

Sen. Rob Bradley said, “If I thought for one second that this bill would encourage people to engage in criminal behavior, because the bill created some sort of loophole in the law that allowed someone to engage in criminal behavior without consequences, I would have no part of this bill.”