Monday, June 23, 2014

Florida expands 'stand your ground' to warning shots

An update of Florida's controversial "Stand Your Ground" law allows Floridians who threaten to use a gun or who fire a warning shot to protect themselves the chance to avoid criminal prosecution, reported ABC News.
The change, signed into law June 20, 2014 by Gov. Rick Scott, was partly inspired by the case of Marissa Alexander who was sentenced to 20 years in prison after firing a shot during a dispute with her allegedly abusive husband.
Alexander's lawyers attempted to claim self-defense and that it was a warning shot, but the jury found Alexander guilty and she was sentenced to 20 years in prison under Florida's current sentencing rules.
An appellate court later overturned the conviction and ordered a retrial for Alexander.
Alexander's defense team said they are "grateful" for the change in the law.
"We learned today that Governor Rick Scott has signed the corrective Stand Your Ground Bill, which was advanced by the legislature as a result of concern about Marissa's case among others," read the statement. "We are of course grateful for the governor's actions."
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