WEAR - Search Results
"Warning Shot bill" allows use of non-lethal force if threatened
People who feel threatened can now use non-lethal force to scare away potential attackers without the fear of prison time.
Governor Rick Scott signed the "warning shot bill" into law on Friday.
It was partly inspired by the case of Marissa Alexander who was sentenced to 20 years in prison after firing a shot during a dispute with her allegedly abusive husband.
She says she fired in self-defense.
But a judge didn't allow her to use the "stand your ground" law that allows someone to use deadly force if they believe their life is in jeopardy.
The verdict was thrown out on appeal and she is awaiting a new trial.
Her attorneys have asked the judge in her case to consider the new law.
"This bill is not really about warning shots. This bill is about stopping abuse and protecting your right of self defense."
"You shouldn't shoot somebody unless you have no other choice. Given this as one last choice, it may prevent some people from being shot."
The new law also encourages anyone convicted under the statute to apply for executive clemency.
And anyone who is initially charged and later has the charges dropped can apply to have their arrest record expunged.