I posted this last night but I feel it ought to be Paged as well:
Florida House panel shoots down bill to repeal ‘Stand Your Ground’ law (VIDEO)
A bill to repeal Florida’s controversial ‘Stand Your Ground’ law was shot down on Thursday by a panel of state lawmakers.
Before a packed house and after hours of impassioned testimony, the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee rejected the proposal to repeal the state’s self-defense law, which removes ones duty to retreat and allows one to use force, including deadly force, if he/she reasonably believes his/her life is in danger, by a vote of 11-2.
I need to cut ahead a bit here because another bill did pass:
While the panel voted decisively against repealing SYG, it approved another measure that would not subject individuals who fire warning shots to a mandatory-minimum sentencing law known as 10-20-Life (10 for pulling a gun, 20 for shooting it, and life for shooting someone).
The impetus for the measure was a case involving a 31-year-old Jacksonville woman, Marissa Alexander, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for allegedly firing a warning shot at her husband.
Attorneys for Alexander invoked SYG during the preliminary proceedings but failed to convince a judge that it applied in her case. After refusing a plea deal by prosecutors, Alexander opted to go to trial. A jury took 12 minutes to render a guilty verdict. She was given 20 years.
The panel passed the measure by a vote of 12-1. It will now head to the Florida Legislature to be reviewed by both chambers in March during the 2014 legislative session.
I tend to think this was the right call by the legislature, although I’d like to have seen SYG amended to to make clear that getting out of your vehicle and confronting someone whom you think might be up to know good voids the self-defense provision.
As always, comments welcome.