New Release: Associated Press
June 20, 2014
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Floridians who threaten to use a gun, or even fire a warning shot, could avoid criminal prosecution under a law signed by Gov. Rick Scott.
Scott on Friday signed the bill (HB 89) partially inspired by a Jacksonville woman initially sentenced to 20 years in prison after firing a shot near her estranged husband during an altercation. The woman, Marissa Alexander, is awaiting a new trial.
Alexander had tried to assert a "stand your ground" defense, but a judge rejected her claim. She was sentenced under the state's "10-20-Life" law that requires mandatory sentences for using a gun.
The new law, however, would allow for instances of threatened use of force without falling under the rule of "10-20-Life." It marks a significant change to the state's self-defense laws.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or email@example.com.