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Challenge to Florida’s insanity standard by attorneys for Austin Harrouff rejected by judge

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Posted at 1:37 PM, Jun 20, 2019

A judge has denied an attempt by lawyers representing face-biting murder suspect Austin Harrouff that challenged Florida’s insanity standard.

In a court hearing last week, Harrouff's attorneys argued that Florida's insanity defense, which Harrouff plans to use, is unconstitutional because it shifts the burden of proof from the state to the defendant.

According to an argument filed by Harrouff's legal team, the defendant "must prove his insanity by clear and convincing evidence, relieving the State from proving the necessary mental state to commit the charged offenses beyond all reasonable doubt."

Harrouff's attorneys want prosecutors to have the burden of proof instead.

The judge issued two orders addressing his defense team’s challenges and rejected their arguments. You can read the rulings below.

Harrouff is facing two counts of first degree murder, two counts of second degree murder with a weapon, one count of attempted first degree murder for attacking a neighbor who tried to intervene, and a charge of burglary of a dwelling with an assault while armed.

His jury trial is scheduled for November 4, 2019.

Harrouff_Orders_06172019 by Contact 5 on Scribd