Legislators giveth and activist judges taketh away…
In ruling that Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law is unconstitutional, a judge in Miami seemingly took issue with two basic concepts: the legislature’s authority to make law and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Milton Hirsch ruled that state lawmakers had overstepped their authority in updating the “Stand Your Ground” law after a decision by the Florida Supreme Court that said defendants had to prove they acted in self-defense, according to the Miami Herald.
In his finding, Hirsch stated, “As a matter of constitutional separation of powers, that procedure cannot be legislatively modified.”
The law was modified to emphasize that those who protect themselves with deadly force are innocent until proven guilty, putting the burden on prosecutors to prove by “clear and convincing” evidence that a defendant was not acting in self-defense.
The change was backed by the National Rifle Association.
The “Stand Your Ground” law was not used in the trial against George Zimmerman, the man who killed Trayvon Martin, but it is inextricably linked to the incident, with Martin’s mother calling for an end to the law.
Hirsch ruled earlier this year that it was unconstitutional for Miami-Dade County to hold arrested immigrants for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
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