Revised Florida Stand-Your-Ground law is unconstitutional

first_imgPhoto Courtesy of Google On Monday, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Milton Hirsch ruled that Florida legislators reached beyond their authority by amending the state’s Stand-Your Ground-Law earlier this. The change in the law would give prosecutors authority to disprove a defendant’s self-defense claim in attacking someone during a pre-trial hearing. According to Judge Hirach only the Florida Supreme Court has the authority to effect changes to the law. The law “cannot be legislatively modified” the judge wrote in his ruling.Since its inception under the administration of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush in 2005, the law which gives residents in the state the right to defend themselves by deadly force, usually by the gun, if they believe they are being attacked in or out their home has been controversial.The controversy peaked in 2013 when community watchman George Zimmerman was acquitted in the shooting death of North Miami teenager Trayvon Martin. Martin was on his way from a convenience store and walking to his father’s home in a Sanford, Florida, residential community when he was accosted by Zimmerman who assumed he was a criminal. Zimmerman’s defense claimed he shot Martin in self-defense because he felt his life was threatened by the teenager.Most state prosecutors opposed the law seeing it as a means for those accused of murder and other gun-related charges to be acquitted by claiming they were defending their lives by the act of violence.It is believed by the opponents of the law that the ruling by Judge Hirsch’s could be the beginning of other courts in Florida ruling likewise resulting in an appeal for the revised law to be reviewed by the Florida Supreme Court.Since the Travyon Martin shooting, and Zimmerman’s acquittal several attempts have been made by Florida Democratic legislators to repeal or change the law, arguing that it gives people with guns the right to shoot a victim indiscriminately, with a chance to be acquitted. However, Governor Rick Scott has remained adamant in not repealing the law.The Florida Supreme Court previously ruled that defendants in shooting cases who seek immunity from criminal prosecution under the law must offer solid proof they were acting in self-defense.Despite strong opposition from prosecutors and gun-control advocates, the Florida Legislature amended the original law to place the burden on state prosecutors to prove through convincing evidence that a defendant was not acting in self-defense. If prosecutors succeed in disproving the self-defense claim at the pre-trail hearing they would need to do this again at the actual trial.last_img read more

“I don’t care what people say” — Mourinho blasts critics

first_imgManchester, United Kingdom | AFP |  Jose Mourinho slammed criticism of Manchester United’s cautious approach in their 2-1 win over bitter rivals Liverpool on Saturday.Mourinho’s second placed side moved five points clear of Liverpool in the Premier League thanks to Marcus Rashford’s first half double at Old Trafford.Liverpool dominated possession as United sat back for long periods and Eric Bailly’s second half own goal set up a tense finish.But United stuck to Mourinho’s conservative game-plan to clinch the points and the Portuguese coach was in typically defiant mood when asked about the defensive tactics.“If people don’t think we deserved it, I don’t care,” Mourinho said.“I am a bit tired, we have a match on Tuesday. I don’t care what people say. The boys are happy, I’m happy.”Mourinho insisted United had been rewarded for taking their chances in the first half and he was happy with the way his players soaked up the pressure after the interval.“We can split the halves. United first half and Liverpool second but in my opinion our first half was a half with goals and danger,” he said.“In the second half – in my opinion, and probably the people in the studio have a different opinion – was Liverpool controlling with the ball and United controlling without the ball. Share on: WhatsApp “Against Liverpool if you play bad when you have the ball you can be in trouble.“Our team was always in control. Even in set pieces, corners, dangerous situations we were in control so I think we deserved it.”Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp claimed the key moment was referee Craig Pawson’s failure to award a penalty for United midfielder Marouane Fellaini’s tackle on Sadio Mane in the final 10 minutes.“It was a clear penalty with Fellaini on Mane, in situations like this you need the right decision,” Klopp said.While Klopp was frustrated with that decision, he admitted Liverpool had only themselves to blame for poor defending on both of Rashford’s goals.“We have to defend these situations better. You can always lose a header or a challenge with Romelu Lukaku of course but there is a gap in behind and we need to close that,” he said.“The two goals made the game not easy, we had a lot of OK moments, two good moments in the first half where we could finish better. It is all about the result and we lost.“We didn’t score before half time and then in the second half we chased the game. It is really difficult to do against a team like Manchester United.”last_img read more

Seven Florida Prison Employees Test Positive for Coronavirus

first_imgSeven Florida Department of Corrections employees who work at different facilities have tested positive for COVID-19, agency officials announced late Friday.The officials would not release the positions held by the infected prison workers, but said in a statement that the employees worked for either the corrections department or one of its contractors at five prisons and two probation offices.The employees work at Century Correctional Institute in Escambia County; Everglades Correctional Institution in Miami-Dade County; Florida Women’s Reception Center and Marion Correctional Institution, both in Ocala; Zephyrhills Correctional Institution in Pasco County; and community corrections regional offices in Lake Butler and West Palm Beach.They will not return to work until they have been cleared by health officials, according to the agency.An investigation is now underway to identify inmates and staff who may need to go into isolation after coming into close contact with the infected employees, officials added. There are no confirmed coronavirus cases within the inmate population as of 9 a.m. Friday.However, corrections officials say they are working closely with the Florida Department of Health to monitor and contain potential outbreaks in the prison system, which has 143 facilities, more than 23,000 employees and nearly 96,000 inmates.In an effort to prevent the virus from spreading, the department has suspended face-to-face inmate visitations, restricted the intake of county jail inmates and began screening anyone who enters a correctional institution.last_img read more