TALLAHASSEE | A change in how stand your ground self-defense cases would be handled in the courts moved closer Tuesday to advancing out of the House, despite suggestions by critics that it could allow criminals to get away with murder.
The Florida House stripped the Senate's gambling bill and passed its own Wednesday, signaling the two chambers will likely have to negotiate a compromise during the session's final weeks.
But, the Senate measure shifts that burden to prove the initial claim from the defendant to the prosecutor.
Florida's law did not specify the process for applying "stand your ground" immunity.
It says people can use deadly force and do not have a duty to retreat if they think it is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm. The House amended the bill significantly and sent it back to the Senate.
It changes the language to read that the "state must prove with clear and convincing evidence that someone did not act in "self-defense" in order to charge that person with a crime". The Senate version (SB 78) won on a 36 to 0 vote.
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While public defenders support the changes to the law, the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association and gun control advocates oppose them.
"This is not about someone's right to defend themselves", said Minority Leader Janet Cruz of Tampa.
"Today's vote by the Florida House of Representatives is a major step toward Florida residents and visitors having permanent access to reliable transportation options", Kasra Moshkani, general manager for Uber South Florida, said in a statement.
"This bill seeks to better inform individuals that gaming can be addictive", Perry said.
"I stand firm in the Senate position and will not negotiate against myself", said Galvano, R-Bradenton, chair of the Senate's higher education committee, in response to what areas offer the most possibility for agreement.