Stand Your Ground bill would shift burden - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Stand Your Ground bill would shift burden

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This week lawmakers in Tallahassee are discussing changes to the Stand Your Ground bill that is making its way through lawmakers.

"So, people who are claiming that they stood their ground in a shooting incident, normally they would have to prove that defense. the law would shift that burden to the prosecution which would make it very difficult to get convictions in shooting cases," said Attorney Gary Lesser.

Stand Your Ground became a hot issue in 2012. Seventeen year old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman. He claimed self defense.

"In that case, Mr. Zimmerman made all of these statements about why he felt compelled and threatened, so perhaps it would not have been a different outcome there," added Lesser.

But Lesser says if a new Stand Your Ground law is put in place, we could see different verdicts.

"If you have a marital dispute, if you are in a bar room fight, any situation. Someone pulls a gun and shoots they are going to claim stand your ground." He adds, "It will make convictions a lot more difficult to get, and we are going to see more people claiming the shooting they are doing are legally justified, and that's bad."

"We have opposed this and have been trying to make it more legally palatable than it originally was. We anticipate that it will pass and increase 'Stand Your Ground' cases as a defense," said the spokesman for the State Attorney's Office.

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