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Bill allowing people to "meet force with force"


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I know this article is not development related, I just thought it is an interesting

topic of discussion.

Do you guys/gals agree with this possible new law??

Bill Alowing People To "Meet Force With Force"

Passes House

The Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - People who feel threatened on the street, in a bar, at a

baseball game - or anywhere they have a legal right to be - could "meet force

with force" to defend themselves without fear of being prosecuted or held liable

under a bill passed overwhelmingly Tuesday by the House.

The measure (SB 436) passed 94-20. It had already passed the Senate and now

heads to Gov. Jeb Bush, who has so far declined to say whether he will sign it. It

was the top priority of the National Rifle Association in Florida this year

It essentially extends a right Floridians already have in their home or car, saying

that there's no need to retreat before fighting back. Generally people attacked in

their homes don't have to back off. If they're attacked in the street, though,

they're supposed to do what they can to avoid escalating the situation, and can

only use deadly force after they've tried to retreat.

"I'm sorry people, but if I'm attacked I shouldn't have a duty to retreat," said the

bill's sponsor, Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala. "That's a good way to get shot in the


Baxley said that if people have the clear right to defend themselves without

having to worry about the legal consequences, criminals will think twice before

attacking someone.

Opponents said it will make Florida like the "Wild, Wild West." The bill, if signed by

Bush, would take effect Oct. 1.

Copyright Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be

published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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I think the major heat would be caused by some of the more sever cases where someone exceeds "resonable defense" and critically injures or even kills an assailant. To many people still think that a criminal has rights.

This article could get REALLY political when touching on personal beliefs, however, its good have an idea of what your piers think.

I'm completely in favor of defending myself without the haunting fear of becomming incarcerated myself.

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^ That's a good point. I would guess that since there are no witnesses and the dead assailant was commiting a random crime, then there are no links to you and the assailant's death. Well, unless you blood is on his shirt or your fingernail embedded in his eye, then the answer is to pray to whomever you pray to and then move to Mexico! :whistling:

On a serious note, I think these are the scenarios that the few that voted againt this bill were concerned about.

If someone :ph34r: mugs you, make sure you beat the crap out of them in front of someone!

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I'm not a lawyer, nor can I give legal advice, but here's a thought ...

"he provoked me" is an affirmative defense. the burden of proof would be on the killer. although it's still the government's responsibility to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you killed him, it's YOUR responsibility to prove on a prepoderence of the evidence that you qualify for a "met with force" defense.

but really, it doesn't sound like this would be a drastic change at all, if signed.

maybe this should be moved to the general florida forum?

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What happens when the alleged assailant is dead and there are no witnesses?


That's a good question. My answer would be...the same thing that happens now.

Under the current law...

when the assailant attacks and kills a victim and there are no witnesses, the suspect is brought to justice and there is a trial to determine truth.

Same situation under the new law...

the assailant will attack victim, victim will fight back and kill assailant and there will still be no witnesses. The case will still go to court to determine where truth lies, only this time the victim had rights too.

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I havent read the law (I am a lawyer), but I think the issue here is the duty to retreat before using deadly force in self-defense. I believe the current law is you have no duty to retreat in your home and can kill anyone who poses a threat of serious bodily harm to you or your family in your home without question (this is the castle doctrine). However, under the current law, you have a duty to try to avoid the deadly confrontation by retreating if you are in a public space, i.e. not your home. I believe the new law gives you the same rights in public that you currently enjoy in private, i.e. you can shoot someone who is threatening you with serious bodily harm on the sidewalk. The castle doctrine would not allow you to simply kill someone in your home with whom you have had an argument, so I think people are overreacting to extending this to everyday life outside the home. You still have to be threatened with serious bodily harm before you can employ deadly force (such as a gun, knife, bat, etc) in self-defense. So, I am generally in favor of this and would have voted for it. I think it will encourage potential criminals to think twice before attacking someone on the street, especially given Florida's concealed weapons permits.

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There really isn't an excuse for the passage of this law. It simply allows someone to use deadly force in a situation that could be construed as questionable at best.

Attorneys will have a field day in the ambiguity it implies but that shouldn't be surprising considering the NRA wholehartedly supported this bill.

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