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Florida: URGENT TAKE ACTION: Take Back the Right of "Innocent Until Proven Guilty"

Saturday, November 14, 2015

DATE: November 14, 2015
TO: USF & NRA Member and Friends
FROM: Marion P. Hammer
  USF Executive Director
  NRA Past President

 

HB-169 Burden of Proof  by Rep. Dennis Baxley is scheduled to be heard in the House Criminal Justice Committee on Tuesday, November 17, 2015, at 9:00AM.

HB-169 Burden of Proof restores the Stand Your Ground law to the original intent of the Legislature by putting the burden of proof BACK ON THE STATE where it belongs. 

If you own a gun and you ever have to use it to protect yourself or your family and -- you think, because of the Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law, that the law is on your side, think again.  The Legislature gave you protection in 2005, but prosecutors and the courts have taken it away.

In 2005, the Legislature passed a self-defense law that gives immunity from arrest, detaining in custody, charging and prosecuting -- until and unless an investigation by the state reveals there is probable cause to believe the act was not lawful self-defense. 

Prosecutors and the courts didn't like it so they created a special "Stand Your Ground" hearing that forces victims who fight back against criminals to prove they are innocent rather than making the state prove guilt.  This bill stops that and restores the protection the Legislature provided.

It is CRITICAL that you respond by emailing members of the House Criminal Justice Committee.  There are members of this committee who favor prosecutors and the courts INSTEAD OF YOU.

Make no mistake -- a committee member who votes against this bill will be voting against you and your constitutional right of self-defense.

Please EMAIL Committee members IMMEDIATELY and ask them to SUPPORT HB-169 Burden of Proof by Rep. Dennis Baxley

IN THE SUBJECT LINE PUT:  SUPPORT HB-169  Restore Self-defense Rights

(To send your message to all just Block and Copy All email addresses into the "Send To" box)

carlos.trujillo@myfloridahouse.gov,
charles.mcburney@myfloridahouse.gov,
charles.vanzant@myfloridahouse.gov,
dennis.baxley@myfloridahouse.gov,
Jay.Fant@myfloridahouse.gov,
gayle.harrell@myfloridahouse.gov,
Chris.Latvala@myfloridahouse.gov,
ray.pilon@myfloridahouse.gov,
Scott.Plakon@myfloridahouse.gov,
Ross.Spano@myfloridahouse.gov,
Randolph.Bracy@myfloridahouse.gov
Dave.Kerner@myfloridahouse.gov,
Sharon.Pritchett@myfloridahouse.gov,
Clovis.Watson@myfloridahouse.gov

Committee members need to hear from YOU  NOW.  Please email Committee Members IMMEDIATELY. 

BACKGROUND:

Your right to a presumption of innocence has been hijacked. 

Without any legal or constitution authority, Florida Courts & Prosecutors have over ridden the Legislature.

They have willfully usurped the authority of the Legislative Branch because they did not agree with the Legislature.  They created a special "SYG" hearing and reversed the burden of proof from the state to the citizen in self-defense cases.  They are forcing victims to prove they are entitled to the Legislature's protection

This bill reverses their self-serving action and restores the Legislature's actions and intent. 

There is clear judicial support for this bill.  Supreme Court Justices Canady and Poltson, in a recent dissenting opinion, made it clear that the majority opinion "substantially curtails the benefit of the immunity from trial conferred by the Legislature under the Stand Your Ground law."

Additionally, Justice Canady wrote that the majority, "cannot justify curtailing the immunity from trial under the Stand Your Ground law for those individuals whose use of force or threat of force is legally justified under the governing statutory standard."

And Finally, he wrote that these issues, "are a matter for the Legislature to consider and resolve."

This bill restores the Legislature's intent and once again – as it did in 2005 – reigns in the courts and prosecutors who have overstepped their constitutional authority and the Legislature's law.

In 2005, citizens who exercised a constitution right – the right of self-defense – were being prosecuted like criminals.  And courts – through jury instructions which were unsupported by law – were imposing a "duty to retreat" in self-defense cases. 

Courts were actually instructing juries to find victims guilty of a crime if the victim had not tried to run away before fighting back against a criminal attack.   That is an indisputable fact.

To restore the constitutional right of self-defense and to stop this judicial system abuse, the Legislature created a specific, statutory right of immunity for people who defend themselves from attack. 

This bill restores the presumption of innocence and puts the burden of proof back on the state where it belongs.

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