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Saturday, Dec 15, 2018
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Florida warning shot bill would spare shooter from jail

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida House is giving tentative approval to a bill that would let people fire warning shots and avoid prison time.

The legislation was partially inspired by the case of Marissa Alexander. The Jacksonville woman was sentenced to 20 years in prison after firing a shot at her estranged husband. An appeals court has ordered her to have a new trial.

The House could approve the bill (HB 89) this week.

Legislators on Wednesday made some substantial changes to the bill.

One of them would give a person who successfully uses a “stand your ground” defense to petition to have records related to the arrest expunged.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, said a person who has their arrest dropped doesn’t deserve to “have their life ruined.”

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