Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law Is Unconstitutional, Miami’s Top Prosecutor Tells High Court

Oct 31, 2018

A South Florida organization of prosecutors that includes Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle is telling the Florida Supreme Court that the latest version of the state’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” self-defense law is unconstitutional.

The League of Prosecutors, in newly filed court documents, asked justices to strike down the law because it unlawfully forces state attorneys to try cases involving self-defense claims before a judge, not a jury. “There is nothing specialized or unique about this defense that the common juror cannot understand,” according to the brief filed late Friday.

Fernandez Rundle, the longtime elected top prosecutor in Miami-Dade, also filed a brief joining in the effort — the first state attorney to break with Attorney General Pam Bondi, whose office is defending the broadened “Stand Your Ground” law passed by the Florida Legislature last year.

The Florida Supreme Court is set to review issues surrounding the law, which was first passed in 2005 amid much controversy. The law, passed with high-profile backing of the powerful National Rifle Association, eliminated a citizen’s duty to retreat before using deadly force to counter a threat.

Read more at our news partner, the Miami Herald