A Judge Just Used Harry Potter To Find Stand-Your-Ground Laws Unconstitutional

A Judge Just Used Harry Potter To Find Stand-Your-Ground Laws Unconstitutional

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Florida Governor Rick Scott recently signed a bill which enforces the stand-your-ground law and makes it harder to convict murderers who claim they were acting in self defense, even when they started the fight. Circuit Judge Milton Hirsch found the new law to be unconstitutional, and demonstrated his point in a law article referencing Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. 

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Under the new law, prosecutors (representing the dead victim) would have to prove the shooter was NOT acting in self defense (even if he or she began the conflict), rather than requiring the legal defense to prove the shooter’s innocence in front of a jury. It's an even more powerful version of the same legislation George Zimmerman’s legal team successfully invoked after he killed Trayvon Martin in 2012.

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Judge Hirsch wrote in his ruling that "as a matter of constitutional separation of powers, that procedure cannot be legislatively modified," referring to the bill signed by Governor Scott. To demonstrate his point, he references the courtroom scene in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, where Harry is up against a powerful political figure who uses his position in both the executive and judicial branches to deny him a fair trial.

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