A defense lawyer writes to Josh Marshall at TPM:
In Florida, if self-defense is even suggested, it’s the states obligation to prove it’s absence beyond a reasonable doubt(!). That’s crazy. But ‘not guilty’ was certainly a reasonable result in this case. As I told in friend in Tampa today though, if you’re ever in a heated argument with anyone, and you’re pretty sure there aren’t any witnesses, it’s always best to kill the other person. They can’t testify, you don’t have to testify, no one else has any idea what happened; how can the state ever prove beyond a doubt is wasn’t self-defense? Holy crap! What kind of system is that?
I understand the reflex to lash out at the jury, but what were they supposed to do if that’s a fair reading of the law? Apparently the Florida legislature wants a system where gun nuts who prowl the streets and get themselves in fights can shoot the other guy and get away with it, as long as there are no witnesses.