Miami Judge Rules New ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law Is Unconstitutional

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A Miami judge ruled the update to the controversial “Stand Your Ground” law is unconstitutional.

On Monday, Judge Milton Hirsch ruled lawmakers had no authority to create a law that forces prosecutors to disprove a defendant’s claim of self-defense at a hearing even before reaching trial, according to our news partners at the Miami Herald.

The judge ruled that under Florida’s constitution, the change should have been done by the state’s Supreme Court.

“As a matter of constitutional separation of powers, that procedure cannot be legislatively modified,” Hirsch wrote in the 14-page order.

Monday’s ruling is considered a victory for prosecutors who opposed the law that they believed would have made it easier for defendants to get away with murder. There was also concern that the update made it easier for judges to dismiss criminal charges if they deemed the act was self-defense – not allowing a jury to take up the case.

The update to the already controversial statute, pushed by the National Rifle Association, was signed into law by Florida Governor Rick Scott last month.

The controversial self-defense law was first passed in 2005 and has been criticized for fostering a shoot-first mentality, eliminating what some believe is a person’s duty to retreat before using deadly force.

Monday’s ruling likely sets up future confrontations in the appellate courts and Florida’s Supreme Court.

(©2017 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report.)

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