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TALLAHASSEE (AP) — The Legislature passed a bill that would make Florida the state the first to place the burden of proof in “stand your ground” pretrial hearings on the prosecution rather than the defendant.

The Senate passed the bill Friday on a 22-14 vote, just hours before it would have died on the last day lawmakers considered non-budget related bills.

The Senate had earlier refused to consider changes the House made to the bill, then accepted them when the House stood its ground on its position.

The Senate bill originally said prosecutors have to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that a defendant wasn’t acting in self-defense. The House changed that language to the lower threshold of presenting “clear and convincing evidence.”

Defendants now have to prove they were acting in self-defense to avoid a trial.[graphiq id=”7phWJjSb8l7″ title=”Firearm Murders in the US by Firearm Type” width=”600″ height=”516″ url=”″ ]

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (2)
  1. John Seagull says:

    Good! It’s about time Florida decided defendants are innocent until proven guilty. Glad to hear it.

  2. Barry Hirsh says:

    “Defendants now have to prove they were acting in self-defense to avoid a trial.”

    No, they don’t. Are you NUTS? Where is your editor?

    Defendants now do NOT have to prove they were acting in self-defense. The state has to prove that they WEREN’T.

    That is the whole purpose of this clarifying legislation.

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