Gov. Scott Signs “Warning Shot” Bill

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) — With the stroke of a pen Governor Rick Scott has significantly changed the state’s self defense laws.

On Friday Scott signed House Bill 89 under which Floridians who threaten to use a gun, or even fire a warning shot, may be able to avoid criminal prosecution.

The bill was partially inspired by a Jacksonville woman who was 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.”

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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