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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