Facts in Evidence Unlikely to Support Immunity by Preponderance of the Evidence
Marissa Alexander appeared in court today as part of a pre-trial hearing in preparation for her re-trial on three counts of aggravated assault. The re-trial is scheduled to begin July 28, with jury selection to begin a week prior.
Prior to that, however, it appears that there will be a May 16 hearing to determine if Alexander can have a second shot at a self-defense immunity hearing (often erroneously referred to as a “stand-your-ground” hearing), as reported by News4Jax.
Under Florida’s self-defense immunity statute, 776.032 “Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force,” if a defendant can show by a preponderance of the evidence that their use of force against another was lawful under the state’s self-defense law framework, they are to be granted immunity from criminal sanction and civil liability.
Alexander had a self-defense immunity hearing prior to her initial trial, and her motion for immunity was denied. As well it should have been, as her conduct in shooting at her husband and his two small children does not begin to approach lawful self-defense, much less by a preponderance of the evidence.
We have previously covered the actual facts of her shooting at her husband and his children in numerous posts here at this blog, amongst those found here.
The self-defense immunity statute is sufficiently new that it’s an open question whether someone may seek a second shot at immunity.
What’s not much of an open question, however, is whether Alexander would qualify for immunity in the facts of this case, by a preponderance of the evidence. Color me very, very skeptical.
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