Wild, Wild West?
Update: After reading the full statute, and considering Gideon's remarks here and in the comments to my post, I'm amending my opinion on this law. I'm in favor of the part that allows the use of deadly force without imposing a duty to retreat. But, the immunity provision is too confusing and burdensome. See, I can change my mind when presented with valid arguments. And people call me stubborn!
I don't understand all the people who are up-in-arms about a recent proposed change to Florida's self-defense law. It seems to me that all it does is remove the duty to retreat before using deadly force. I've always thought the duty to retreat is stupid. If you reasonably believe that someone is about to inflict death or serious bodily injury on you, why should you have to try to run away first? If running away doesn't work, then you could have put yourself in even less of a position to defend yourself. I just don't get the outrage. This is already the law in Texas. There is no duty to retreat. Your belief just has to be reasonable. It's still hard to win on a self-defense theory here in a deadly force case, even though the burden is on the state to disprove it beyond a reasonable doubt. When someone ends up dead, juries scrutinize the behavior of the killer who claims self-defense very carefully. They often think about whether the defendant could have retreated when they consider whether the defendant's actions were reasonable. They don't let people kill each other willy nilly around here. I think the critics of this bill are a bit hysterical.