ORLANDO, Fla. -- A federal judge has struck down Florida's drug law because it got rid of a requirement that suspects have to know a controlled substance is illicit to be convicted of a drug offense.
U.S. District Judge Mary Scriven found the nine-year-old law unconstitutional in a decision released Wednesday.
The decision called for the resentencing of drug convict Mackle Shelton, who had faced 18 years in prison for his conviction.
When the law was passed in 2002, Florida became the only state not to require that a suspect have knowledge that a controlled substance is illegal to be convicted.
The law shifted the burden from prosecutors having to prove that a suspect knew to the defendant having to assert ignorance about the illegality of the controlled substance.
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