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An update to Floridaā€™s controversial, seemingly for-whites-only ā€œStand your groundā€ law was deemed unconstitutional by a Miami judge on Monday.

According to the Miami Herald, Miami-Dade CircuitĀ Judge Milton Hirsch ruled that the lawmakers who modified the law this year to force prosecutors to disprove a defendantā€™s self-defense claim at a pretrial hearing was illegitimate.

He ruled that under the Florida Constitution, only the stateā€™s Supremeā€™s Court could have made the change, not the Legislature.

The Herald reports that the ruling is ā€œa victory for prosecutors who have firmly opposed a law they believe makes it easier for defendants to get away with murder and other violent crime,ā€ but black folks might be giving a little cheer, too.


In the very well-known Trayvon Martin case of 2012, George Zimmerman, who shot and killed the unarmed 17-year-old, used ā€œStand your groundā€ as a successful defense against murder charges.

In another notable case in the same year, Floridian Marissa Alexander, a black woman, was not able to use the law as she defended herself against an on-record violent husband. She initially received a sentence of 20 years, of which she served three.

The update in the ā€œStand your groundā€ law, passed in May, was backed by the National Rifle Association, and Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed the new law into effect last month.


The Herald reports that Hirschā€™s ruling isnā€™t bindingā€”other trial courts across Florida can follow the law if they choose. But it will ā€œget the appeals ball rolling,ā€ and possibly go to the Florida Supreme Court for review.

Letā€™s hope that court will get rid of this sickening law once and for all.

Read more at the Miami Herald.