Senate president indicates a compromise on 'Stand Your Ground' won't actually be so simple
The Republican majorities in both the House and Senate have easily voted this spring to shift the burden of proof to prosecutors in pretrial hearings for “Stand Your Ground” cases — but now resolving the significant procedural difference between their two proposals isn’t going to happen so effortlessly.
Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, told reporters Thursday that he wants to hold the line and stick with the Senate’s more stringent version of SB 128, which would require prosecutors to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” — before trial — why a criminal defendant cannot claim immunity from prosecution in use-of-force cases.
That’s the highest standard of proof and what prosecutors have to demonstrate at the trial itself.
An attorney by trade, Negron said he, personally, doesn’t want to accept the compromise language the House approved Wednesday that sets the standard one step lower, to “clear and convincing evidence.”
Both chambers have to pass identical bills in order to enact a law and send it to the governor for his signature. Lawmakers still have four weeks left in session to hash out their differences, but Negron is reluctant to budge from the Senate’s position.
“I would rather have ‘beyond a reasonable doubt,’ ” Negron said.