Florida Law and the Right to Kill

Ken AshfordCrimeLeave a Comment

Cowgirl No, not another post about Schiavo.  It’s about this:

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Reuters) – People in Florida will be allowed to kill in self-defense on the street without trying to flee under a new law passed by state politicians on Tuesday that critics say will bring a Wild West mentality and innocent deaths.

The Florida House of Representatives, citing the need to allow people to "stand their ground," voted 94-20 to codify and expand court rulings that already allow people to use deadly force to protect themselves in their homes without first trying to escape.

The new bill goes further by allowing citizens to use deadly force in a public place if they have a reasonable belief they are in danger of death or great bodily harm. It applies to all means of force that may result in death, although the legislative debate focused on guns.

The "Stand Your Ground" bill passed the Senate last week on a 39-0 vote and now goes to Republican Gov. Jeb Bush, who indicated he will sign it.

"This is about meeting force with force," said House sponsor Republican state Rep. Dennis Baxley of Ocala. "If I’m attacked, I should not have to retreat."

Critics have few objections to allowing people to protect themselves from intruders in their homes but said the provision making it easier to use deadly force in public gives gun owners a license to kill.

"For a House that talks about the culture of life it’s ironic that we would be devaluing life in this bill," said Democratic state Rep. Dan Gelber of Miami Beach. "That’s exactly what we’re doing."

Oh.  I guess it is Schiavo-related.

P.S.:  I get bonus blog-points for using two Louise Fletcher pictures in two consecutive non-Louise Fletcher-related blog posts.  Right?  Right?!?