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Florida Supreme Court Opinion is Anti-Self-Defense

Judicial activism is alive and flourishing on the Florida Supreme Court.  The victims of this activism is the Second Amendment and citizens of the Sunshine State’s fundamental right of self-defense.

On Thursday, July 9, 2015, liberals on the Florida Supreme Court issued an opinion in a self-defense case that clearly has a chilling effect on the constitutional right of self-defense and the immunity from prosecution for exercising self-defense provided by the Legislature in the “Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground” law.  The presumption of innocence until proven guilty has been turned on its head.

Rather than follow the intent of the Legislature, the Court chose to rewrite the law to achieve its own policy goals.

In the Opinion Justice Pariente, who was joined by Justices Labarga, Quince, Perry and Lewis, defiantly said:

“We conclude that placing the burden of proof on the defendant to establish entitlement to Stand Your Ground immunity by a preponderance of the evidence at the pretrial evidentiary hearing, rather than on the State to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant’s use of force was not justified, is consistent with this Court’s precedent and gives effect to the legislative intent.”

In a dissenting opinion in which Justice Ricky Poltson concurred, Justice Charles Canady correctly wrote:

“By imposing the burden of proof on the defendant at the pretrial evidentiary hearing, the majority substantially curtails the benefit of the immunity from trial conferred by the Legislature under the Stand Your Ground law.”

The entire majority opinion and the dissenting opinion is here:

“By imposing the burden of proof on the defendant at the pretrial evidentiary hearing, the majority substantially curtails the benefit of the immunity from trial conferred by the Legislature under the Stand Your Ground law.”

The entire majority opinion and the dissenting opinion is here:

http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/decisions/2015/sc13-2312.pdf

Below is a link to an example of how others see this opinion:

Here’s What the Legislature Should Do After Bretherick by Greg Newburn, FAMM State Policy Director posted to FAMM.org on July 10, 2015