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.”
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