- Associated Press - Thursday, July 9, 2015

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - The Florida Supreme Court is keeping the burden of proof with the defendant seeking immunity under the “stand your ground” self-defense law.

The justices on Thursday affirmed the current practice used in courts statewide for pretrial immunity hearings under the law. The court rejected an attempt to shift the burden of proof at that stage from defendants to the prosecution.

The decision came in the case of Jared Bretherick, an Indiana tourist whose “stand your ground” claim was rejected in a 2011 road confrontation in Kissimmee in which he pointed a gun at a driver. Bretherick’s lawyers contended the Legislature never spelled out which side had the burden of proof at the pretrial immunity hearing.

The court said shifting the burden could effectively force prosecutors to prove a case twice.


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