Miami-Dade judge deems updated ‘Stand Your Ground’ law unconstitutional

MIAMI (WSVN) - The Miami Herald is reporting that Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Milton Hirsch has ruled that the updated version of the “Stand Your Ground” law is unconstitutional.

The law was originally passed in 2005, and allowed citizens to use deadly force on a perceived threat. The updated version would have put the burden of proof on prosecutors, whereas the old law held it upon the defendant.

Hirsch said that under the state’s constitution, the change should have been made by the Florida Supreme Court, not the legislature.

“The order finds the newly enacted procedure unconstitutional, so we will proceed on the existing procedure — the old procedure — on July 28,” Hirsh ruled.

The updated law was originally signed by Gov. Rick Scott and backed by a number of Republican officials.

The ruling comes after the rulings of Liletha Rutherford and Omar Rodriguez. Rutherford is accused of pulling a gun out on a couple during an argument, while Rodriguez is accused of fatally shooting a man after an altercation over a dog feces.

“It is a pathetic reason to have a fight with somebody and get into an argument, but indeed that’s what happened,” said Alan Ross, Rodriguez’s attorney.

This development comes as a great frustration to the attorney. “Today, the judge ruled that the law is unconstitutional, so as a result, nobody can proceed at least in this division, on the new law,” said Ross. “I’m disappointed. I could have litigated this motion months ago, and we intentionally waited for the new law.”

Rodriguez’s and other cases that intended to use the update version of the law must now use the original version. The cases have since been rescheduled to July 28.

 

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