NRA/USF: Prosecutors misinformed House Judiciary Committee about Stand Your Ground bill

Lee’s note: This just in from NRA/Unified Sportsmen of Florida:

REPORT ! Prosecutors Misinform Judiciary Comm. in Testimony on Gun Bill

DATE:   March 26, 2017
TO:       USF & NRA Member and Friends
FROM:  Marion P. Hammer
USF Executive Director
NRA Past President

Two baffling and unforgivable things happened during testimony on HB-245, the Burden of Proof bill, in the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, March 23, 2017.

ONE:  The Florida representative of NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Moms Demand Action (MDA)  gave testimony that sounded like it was written by the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association (FPAA).

In testimony she claimed, “State prosecutors stand with us asserting that this bill will make it harder to prosecute gun crimes.”

She went on to claim that Florida’s prosecutors are already overworked and overburdened and that they have high case loads and low budgets.

Sounding more and more like State Attorney Phil Archer’s mantra, she echoed Archer’s previous testimony complaining about the works loads and funding of prosecutors.

All of that is troubling because according to data from the Justice Administrative Commission, State Attorneys/prosecutors had a cash surplus of over $50 million at the end of BOTH of their last two fiscal years and their case load is down over 30% for the last 5 years.

That doesn’t sound like underfunded and overworked to us. They clearly have adequate staff and funding to do the investigations to protect the rights of innocent citizens.

The most curious and subsequently telling thing the Bloomberg Moms leader said was, “All 20 of Florida’s State Attorneys oppose this bill.”  That was something new that had been not reported before.  It begged the question, “How could she know that?”

TWO: That question was answered pretty quickly when State Attorney Phil Archer representing the prosecuting attorneys association said the same thing.  Archer said, “I appreciate the reduction in the standard of proof. I think that makes it a little better but all 20 State Attorneys are still very much opposed to this bill.”

Bingo! it really looks like the prosecutors association is feeding testimony to Bloomberg’s Moms.

But more importantly, the statement — made by both, the Bloomberg Moms and State Attorney Phil Archer — is false.

A text message from a State Attorney received shortly after the statement was made, said the statement was false.  So, at least one State Attorney, if not more, have not taken a position against the bill.

We expect people to be truthful, particularly when they testify before committees,  but sometimes some are not.  It is especially troubling when a State Attorney representing the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association is untruthful. Further troubling is the lack of respect for justice and innocent people who act in self-defense.

In some cases, by not doing proper investigations and by not objectively evaluating cases before charging innocent citizens in self defense cases, some prosecutors end up trying to extort plea bargains from frightened citizens to cover their lack of evidence and send innocent people to prison.

That may save prosecutors money on a trial but it imposes the enormous financial burden and the tragedy of the incarceration of innocent people on another agency and taxpayers, and is devastating to innocent people and their families.

You need to know when the people who are elected to protect the rights of law-abiding people are willfully working to subvert those rights.  Under our nation’s judicial system, you are innocent until proven guilty.  A prosecutor who thinks you should be guilty until you can prove yourself innocent is not looking out for you or justice.


About Author

Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1777 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.

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