Sunday, June 22, 2014
Florida Governor Rick Scott [official website] on Friday signed into law House Bill 89 of 2014 [House Bill history], legalizing the threat of force [text, PDF] in circumstances where actual force would be permitted as self-defense. The bill is commonly known as the "warning shot law" and was raised in response to the 2012 conviction of Marissa Alexander [AP Report]. Mrs. Alexander fired a warning shot into a wall when threatened by her husband; no one was injured. Despite her self-defense claims, the court was bound by the minimum sentence of twenty years in jail for assault with a deadly weapon.