Bill to flip burden of proving 'stand your ground' advances

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Florida's "stand your ground" law could soon provide more protection to people who invoke it under a bill passed by the Senate.

The Senate passed the bill with a 23-15 vote Wednesday. It could force prosecutors to prove during pretrial hearings that a defendant wasn't acting in self-defense. That burden is now on defendants.

Republican Sen. Rob Bradley said burden of proof should always be on the prosecution from the beginning of a case to the end.

While at least 22 states have similar laws that say people can use force - even deadly force - to defend themselves from threats, Florida would be alone shifting the burden of proof to prosecutors.

Democrats argued the bill would encourage people to shoot to kill so there isn't a surviving witness to dispute that self-defense was a factor.

© 2017 Associated Press


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