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Miami Judge Says New Stand Your Ground Law Is Unconstitutional

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A Miami judge ruled Monday that Florida’s new “Stand Your Ground” law is unconstitutional, arguing that the updated law should have been crafted by the Florida Supreme Court, rather than the Legislature.

Florida’s original Stand Your Ground law was first passed in 2005, forcing prosecutors to prove by “clear and convincing” evidence that someone wasn’t acting in self-defense. The law allows individuals to use deadly force if they are in imminent danger and are acting in self-defense.

Under the law, individuals are not required to retreat and can legally protect themselves against perpetrators.

Supporters argue it is critical for self-defense, while opponents believe it contributes to a “shoot-first” mentality.

The updated version from June would force prosecutors to disprove a defendant’s self-defense claim at a pretrial hearing. The updated law was heavily supported by the National Rifle Association and was signed by GOP Florida Gov. Rick Scott in June.

The ruling is likely to be challenged in appellate courts and could eventually head to the Florida Supreme Court.

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