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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

Experts To Discuss 'Stand Your Ground' In Simulcast Forum Event

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A ruling on whether Marissa Alexander will get a second "Stand Your Ground" hearing in her retrial won't be heard until June at the earliest, but the debate on the controversial state policy remains in the headlines.Last week, Alexander's attorneys motioned for a judge to grant her a new hearing to determine whether the law could be applied based on new evidence, but the decision was delayed.

The controversial Florida law grants a shooter immunity from prosecution if it’s found a person used deadly force out of fear for their life.

Alexander tried and failed to use a Stand Your Ground defense after she fired what she called a warning shot against her allegedly abusive husband. Her conviction and 20 year prison sentence was thrown out and she faces a retrial this summer.

Meanwhile, Florida’s so-called “warning shot bill," inspired by Alexander’s case, is awaiting action from Gov. Rick Scott. Alexander's retrial is only the latest flashpoint in the ongoing debate over self-defense statues in Florida.

Thursday night, May 22, at 8 p.m, WJCT will present First Coast Forum: Stand Your Ground in a special simulcast on WJCT TV and WJXT Channel 4.

Florida Coastal School of Law professor Rod Sullivan is among the panelists who will discuss the law on Thursday's program. He joined Melissa Ross to discuss the Marissa Alexander case and the state of the Stand Your Ground debate.

Melissa Ross and WJXT's Kent Justice will co-host First Coast Forum: Stand Your Ground on May 22 at 8 p.m. at WJCT Studios. Click here to get your free tickets to be part of our studio audience.

You can follow Melissa Ross on Twitter @MelissainJax.

Melissa Ross joined WJCT in 2009 with 20 years of experience in broadcasting, including stints in Cincinnati, Chicago, Orlando and Jacksonville. During her career as a television and radio news anchor and reporter, Melissa has won four regional Emmys for news and feature reporting.