Florida Government. Ron Desantis wants to amend the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law in a proposal that would expand one of the most comprehensive laws of its kind in the country, which would cause critics to worry that it would be subject to chaotic and tense confrontations Can empower people to use violence during. During the protest.
The move is part of DeSantis’ “anti-mob” draft law, which would target people accused of illegal acts during riots and looting. DeSantis, a Republican, introduced his aggressive agenda in response to months of mass racial justice protests around the country, which erupted at times in violent clashes.
“The proposal would only promote racial unrest and violence, not reduce it,” said State Sen. Randolph Bracey, a Democrat whose district includes parts of Orange County. “DeSantis is considering the law as a play book for its next election, which is reckless and irresponsible.”
The draft legislation, which was provided to some lawmakers in late September, was reported earlier this week by The Miami Herald and the Tampa Bay Times. Florida’s self-defense law will be updated to include “robbery, criminal mischief and arson” as a result of “the interruption or loss of business operations” as a justification for using physical force against a person.
According to the draft law, “robbery” means stealing within 500 feet of a violent or disorganized assembly, which was shared with NBC News.
Currently, the law allows the use of force during several types of felony, including murder, robbery, sexual battery and aggravated assault.
In general, Floridians can defend themselves with lethal force if they believe they are in imminent danger or death – and not only when they are inside their homes. The person being threatened is not required to try to escape.
At least two dozen other states do not demand that people retreat from their attackers if they are legally allowed to live in a place, such as their private housing, their businesses or public spaces. The possible use of “Stand Your Ground” as a defense drew national attention to cases in Florida, from the fatal shooting of Trywon Martin, a black teenager, in 2012 to Marquis McGlatton, who was the black father of one of three. A convenience store parking lot in 2018.
If prosecutors decide to accuse someone who uses deadly force, the person can “stand their ground” during a pretense hearing in front of a judge. If the person is successful, he is granted immunity from prosecution. Immunity is not given to anyone who uses force against a police officer in the line of duty.
The law has drawn criticism in cases in which the circumstances surrounding the need for deadly force are in doubt, such as who initiated the confrontation and who protected it from violence or the threat of deadly violence.
Kenneth Noon, professor of law at the University of Florida and assistant director of its Criminal Justice Center, said that whatever happens at the demonstrations is clearly called “stand your ground” as “reactionary to extremism.”
The nun said, “Like the ‘stand your ground’ law in general, it reduces public safety in exchange for a political attempt to pit one part of the population against another.” “Our criminal laws should be designed to minimize conflict and, when conflict occurs, to ensure that the least amount of harm is done. This proposal does the opposite.”
In September, Decentis previewed its proposed legislation after a wave of national demonstrations following the death of George Floyd, a black man killed in Minneapolis police custody.
“We need to do more in the context of a strong legislative response so that we don’t always do weird-a-mole games at any time like this kind of development,” Dissentis said at the time.
“Recently in our country, we have seen attacks on law enforcement, we have seen disarray in many cities,” he said.
DeSantis activated the National Guard in response to some of the earlier protests in Florida, including several arrests of tear gas on protesters and police use. Some state legislatures have questioned his motive for advancing his “anti-congestion” law, saying it is heavily influenced by President Donald Trump’s “law and order” rhetoric.
The proposed law would also toughen criminal penalties for those accused of participating in “violent or disorderly assemblies”, which could lead to a third-degree felony for striking a person or blocking traffic during an unlawful protest. A driver who “unknowingly causes injury or death to someone who interrupts traffic” may also be immune from liability under the proposed law.
The Florida Police Chiefs Association, which represents more than 900 of the state’s top law enforcement officers, declined to comment on the proposal. But its president, Satellite Beach Police Chief Jeff Pearson, previously announced Decentes’ measures that are “urgently necessary to protect the lives and property of every Floridian”.
Pearson said in September, “Violent protests threaten the lives of every citizen and we are administered an oath of safety.”
Although the Legislature is under Republican control after the election, it is unclear whether DeSantis’ draft legislation will find a sponsor for next year’s session or advance in writing. Neither DeSantis’ office nor the offices of Republican leaders in the respective judiciary and criminal justice committees immediately responded to the request for comment.
David Simmons, a Republican former state legislator who helped draft the original “Draft Your Ground” law that was codified in 2005, said he had not seen the details of DeSantis’ proposal, but said That if it was “drafted properly,” it could make good sense. “
“If you own a business and you’re in your business and someone attacks you, you don’t need to turn and run. You have the right to stand your ground,” Simmons said. “While many people want to use ‘stand your ground’ as a defense, the truth is that it has limited applicability and should be implemented appropriately.”
In the heat of the moment, especially during a protest, the notion that people might have the right to “stand their ground” with violence would only exacerbate an already frightening situation, said Caroline Light, a senior lecturer at Harvard Said, who is the author of “Stand Your Ground: A History of America’s Love Affair with Lethal Self-Defense.”
He said amendments to the law could open up scenarios in which armed men would shoot or kill based on claims that they were protecting a business or personal property from “looters” or “mobs” and to defend themselves Was needed – even if it was not their property.
Such changes would “dramatically raise the limits of justified violence and homicide in the state while criminalizing some form of public protest,” Prakash said.