Floridas ‘Stand Your Ground’ law is unconstitutional, Miami-Dade state attorney says
A top prosecutor in Florida is telling the state’s Supreme Court that the controversial ‘Stand Your Ground’ law is unconstitutional, a report said Tuesday.
Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle is part of an organization called the League of Prosecutors pushing for the state strike down the law because they say it unlawfully forces the cases of claimed self-defense to be tried before a judge instead of a jury, the Miami Herald reported.
“There is nothing specialized or unique about this defense that the common juror cannot understand,” according to a brief filed by the organization.
Fernandez Rundle also filed a brief of her own, becoming the first state attorney to split from Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, the paper reported. Bondi is defending the version of the law passed last year.
The new measure has forced prosecutors to prove that a citizen was not acting in self-defense, instead of the defense proving that they were, according to the paper. Critics say the law allows judges to more easily grant immunity to someone they deem acted in self-defense.
The “Stand Your Ground” law, which was first passed in 2005, states that citizens do not have a duty to retreat before using deadly force in the face of a life-threatening situation, according to the paper.
One high-profile case involving the law was the shooting death of teen Trayvon Martin in 2012, where George Zimmerman was charged, but later acquitted.