Fla. 'Stand-Your-Ground' Rulings Must be Pretrial

By: AP
By: AP

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) --

The Florida Supreme Court has ruled judges must decide claims of immunity under the state's "stand-your-ground" law before cases go to trial.

The law says people cannot to prosecuted for using deadly force
for self-protection.

The justices Thursday, Dec. 14 held that judges must make pretrial
rulings even if facts surrounding such claims are in dispute.

But they still upheld Clarence Dennis' felony battery conviction
and five-year prison sentence even though he had been denied a
pretrial hearing.

The high court concluded the error was harmless because an
Okeechobee County jury later found him guilty "beyond a reasonable
doubt."

Dennis claimed a woman hit him with a beer bottle before he
injured her during a domestic dispute.


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  • by ETurnage Location: Tallahassee on Dec 16, 2010 at 09:27 PM
    Why should someone back away when confronted by danger not of their making? The Castle Doctrine limits the rights of a law abiding citizen to defend themselves anywhere but their domicile. If Willie Meggs and our law enforcement agecies have their way it will be either die or hope that you can run fast enough. As for your mutt, LLB, at twelve pounds I would opt for a punt. No matter the outcome the " Stand your Ground " law works. An armed society is a polite society.
  • by LOL Location: Tallahassee on Dec 16, 2010 at 01:53 PM
    LLB needs to rethink their statement! We have the right to protect ourselves. The size of the attacker does not matter!!
  • by mike on Dec 16, 2010 at 12:49 PM
    LLB- they don't call those little dogs ankle biters for nothing. Those little dogs have a nasty bite. and how was your neighbor to know if the dog was rabid or not? and BTW the law is not stupid. I suppose you want us to have no right to defend ourselves? I guess getting raped is better than shooting the rapist? or if someone breaks in I guess you'd want the family to cower in fear while the bad guy murders, rapes and steals whatever he wants?
  • by Don Location: Panama City on Dec 16, 2010 at 12:42 PM
    I prefer to be tried by twelve instead of crried by six. Enter my property and threaten me or mine and you are a memory.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 16, 2010 at 12:28 PM
    LLB - if your dog comes into my yard, no matter its weight, I have every right to blast its head off.
  • by LLB Location: TALLY on Dec 16, 2010 at 11:50 AM
    This is a stupid law. I had a neighbor pull a handgun when my 12 lb jack russell terrier stood at the end of her driveway and barked. And she was standing on her porch in front of her door. She could have called across the street to let us know the dog got out, but instead, the idiot pulled a gun. She didn't put the handgun away when my son went to get him. The dog barked at her from 30 feet away, and when I called the police to complain that she brandished a firearm at my teenage son, they told me that she could use deadly force if she "felt threatened" by my dog or my son. Threatened by a barking little 12 lb dog? He isn't the little white bunny rabbit from Monty Python's Holy Grail, for pete sake. And the fact that the police told her she could use deadly force on a barking dog tells me that some of our police force could use some common sense lessons. This law needs to be seriously tweaked, and law enforcement needs to get some common sense.
  • by anon Location: here on Dec 16, 2010 at 11:45 AM
    Since there is a standing law and it has not been struck down for being unconstitutional then every portion of the law should apply as it is for EVERYONE. The FSC should not say it must be arbitrarily decided by each county prosecutor to see if a person who protects themselves or family can be brought up on charges. If anyone is denied this claim then all should be denied and the current law abolished.
  • by James on Dec 16, 2010 at 11:35 AM
    ALLEN: You are such a SOB!, that is: a Seriously Observant and Bright citizen !! Our government does want us to be VICTIMS so they can be the SOLUTION ! They do not want to to be able to defend yourself. Look at San Francisco, Pelosi's district; you cannot OWN or HAVE a weapon in the entire city of San Francisco. You cannot use deadly force to defend your own family in your own home in Connecticut !! You must gather your family up if a killer breaks in and RUN like a coward. So Allen, how dare you even think about breaking that paradigm.
  • by Kamisha Location: Gretna on Dec 16, 2010 at 11:27 AM
    I stand my ground when thugs be flossin on my street
  • by Allen Location: Thomasville on Dec 16, 2010 at 10:51 AM
    What we really need is the ability to freeze that moment in time just before you have to defend yourself so you can go ask 1,000 people plus every judge if you could get in trouble for actually defending yourself. That's exactly how 9/11 was so successful. They used our cultural training to "be safe" by giving in to the perpetrator. So while everyone sat passively in their airline seats, they flew jets into buildings. We are no longer the land of the brave. We have become a fat, lazy society who wants to take no risks anymore. To many contradictory laws out there to trust what you can and can't do. It's easier to be a victim.
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