Governor Signs Bills Stiffening Bail Requirements; Increasing Sentences for Drug Traffickers; and Allowing the Death Penalty for Child Rapists
Florida - Monday May 1, 2023: At a news conference in Titusville Monday Governor DeSantis signed three crime related bills; one of which reforms Florida’s death penalty statutes to allow for the death sentence in cases of child rape; another measure strengthens pre-trial detention by requiring statewide uniform bail standards; and the third increases sentences for drug traffickers that target children.
"We are continuing to implement measures to protect our communities and keep Florida safe," said the Governor, "with a particular emphasis on keeping criminals in jail and throwing the book at pedophiles.”
• Allows for the death penalty for those pedophiles who commit sexual battery against children under the age of 12.
The Governor said he is prepared to take this law all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to overrule judicial precedents which have shielded child rapists from the death penalty.
• Requires the Florida Supreme Court to develop a uniform statewide bond schedule by the end of the year;
• Prohibits the chief judge of a judicial circuit from setting a lower bond amount for a criminal offense than the uniform statewide bond schedule
• Authorizes the chief judge of a judicial circuit to set a higher bond amount for a criminal offense than the uniform statewide bond schedule
• Prohibits a person from being released prior to his or her first appearance if he or she has been arrested for a particularly violent or heinous crime
• Authorizes a court to revoke pretrial release and order pretrial detention if a defendant violates a condition of pretrial release
• Adds manslaughter while driving and boating under the influence, trafficking fentanyl, extortion, and written threats to kill to the list of “dangerous crimes”
• Prohibits a court from granting nonmonetary pretrial release at a first appearance hearing if a defendant is arrested for a dangerous crime and the court determines there is probable cause to believe the defendant committed the offense
• Requires a state attorney, or a court on its own motion, to motion for pretrial detention if a defendant is arrested for a dangerous crime that is a capital felony, a life felony, or a first-degree felony and the court determines there is probable cause to believe that the defendant committed the offense
• Requires a court to order pretrial detention of a defendant who is arrested for a dangerous crime if the court finds a substantial probability that the defendant committed the offense and that no conditions of release or bail will reasonably protect the community from risk of physical harm
• Authorizes any party to motion for reconsideration of pretrial detention if an alleged criminal is granted pretrial release and then new information comes to light suggesting pretrial detention is warranted
• Imposes additional penalties on fentanyl and other drug related crimes when the drug looks like a piece of candy which targets children
• Making those who traffic such substances eligible for a life sentence and imposing a minimum 25 year sentence and a $1 million penalty
• Making it a first-degree felony to possess, sell, or manufacture fentanyl and other controlled substances that resemble candy