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Author Of Stand Your Ground Changes Reacts To Judge Ruling New Law Unconstitutional

MGN Online
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
Credit MGN Online
The Florida Channel

The Florida lawmaker who authored this year’s changes to Florida’s Stand Your Ground law says the legislature does have the right to update the law. It’s in response to a judge’s ruling Monday declaring the revised version unconstitutional.

Under a new law already in effect, a person claiming Stand Your Ground no longer has to prove their self-defense claim is justified to a judge during a pre-trial immunity hearing, to avoid a trial. Now, that burden shifts to prosecutors.

The 2017 law stems from a dissenting opinion of a 2015 Florida Supreme Court Ruling. Most of the justices ruled the burden should lie with the defendant during the self-defense immunity hearing.

And, Monday, Miami Dade Circuit Judge Milton Hirsch stated due to that high court decision, the legislature’s move to revise the law this year is unconstitutional.

But, Sen. Rob Bradley (R-Fleming Island)—the new law’s author—disagrees.

“I would be surprised if it were upheld on appeal,” he said.

The statewide impacts of this is unclear, as Hirsch made this decision Monday based on two cases before him.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner .

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