Expansion Of 'Stand Your Ground' Laws Are Making Florida More Dangerous

Expansion Of 'Stand Your Ground' Laws Are  Making Florida More Dangerous

We are living in the Age of Crazy, so when there is a tragedy that takes the life of an innocent, instead of passing laws to make sure that doesn't happen, states are passing laws that ensure it will continue to happen at an accelerated rate.

Nicole Flatow

Attempts to roll back any of the Florida Stand Your Ground law’s most incendiary elements have foundered more than two years after the death of Trayvon Martin. But a bill to expand the law passed Thursday, mere months after it was introduced.

The National Rifle Association-backed bill would extend Stand Your Ground-like protections to those who point a gun at an attacker or fire a gun as a self-defense threat or warning, expanding the scope of the discretion judges and juries retain to exempt shooters from criminal charges for gun violence. The final bill also includes a provision to keep Stand Your Ground records secret.

The “Threatened Use of Force” bill passed the Senate Thursday 32-7, and will become law if signed by Gov. Rick Scott (R). The bill initially gained traction after Republicans exploited the outrage over the 20-year prison sentence for Marissa Alexander, who fired a warning shot during an altercation with her abusive husband. The bill was then dubbed the “warning shot” bill, because a judge rejected Alexander’s move to invoke the law. But opponents were quick to point out that injustice in Alexander’s case hinged in large part on a draconian mandatory minimum sentence that required the 20-year prison term, insensitivity to domestic violence, and racial disparities that are already baked into the existing Stand Your Ground law.

Rather than protect those like Alexander, the law is likely to expand immunity for violent conduct in as vague and sweeping a manner as Florida’s existing Stand Your Ground law, and could represent the newest mechanism for encouraging even more vigilantism.

A new amendment that made its way into the final bill would also make secret all records from Stand Your Ground cases, meaning that the records would be sealed in cases where charges are later dropped, and those who are granted immunity would have their records expunged. But the law also means that media outlets seeking to document the impact of the law would not have access to any records.


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Here's a typical defense.

Heck your honor, I was just following my God given right to squeeze of a warning shot at a person who I believed was gonna do me some bodily harm, but my aim was off and I killed him. Why'd he wear that dang-blasted hoodie for anyway?

Conservatives can lie with the best of them and to use Marissa Alexander as their poster child is disgusting since she got caught up in nut-job sentencing guidelines.

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