Concealed Carriers are NOT Innocent Until Proven Guilty in Florida: Findley

Are we INNOCENT until proven guilty by the prosecutor when we use our licensed concealed carry gun for self defense when threatened with death or great bodily harm?

Or are we GUILTY until we prove ourselves innocent whenever we use our gun in a self-defense situation?

It certainly makes sense to me, a legal layman and non-attorney, that an accused defendant is first INNOCENT until proven guilty, when they used a handgun to defend their life or to avoid great bodily injury in the United States. After all, we still do have in existence the Second Amendment to our great U.S. Constitution (USC), which gives us the right to “keep and bear arms” for our self defense. And the 14th amendment to our USC guarantees to every person “equal protection under the law.” The Due Process Clause requires the government to respect all rights, protections and statutes before depriving anyone of life, liberty or property. Is the presumption of innocence a legal right of the accused in a criminal trial? Here in Florida, as in other states, there is much concern about this. Perception is reality.

The “presumption of innocence” to me is one of the most basic legal foundations and scared principles in our American criminal justice system. I generally understand as a non-attorney that this important principle means that the prosecution or the State must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, each essential element of the crime charged or the justifiable use of a weapon by someone in their own self defense.

Briefly, it means that this presumption shifts the burden of proof onto the prosecution to affirmatively prove that you committed a criminal act when you used your gun in self defense because of a threat to your life or great bodily injury. The prosecution should present compelling evidence of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, but if reasonable doubt remains, you the accused and user of your gun for self defense should be acquitted.

But it is NOT that way right now in Florida. Florida law presently has the requirement that...

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