Florida Governor Rick Scott recently vetoed crime bill HB 177 claiming that justice is not served when a criminal is released before they serve their full court-imposed prison sentence and that Florida's crime rate is at a 40-year-low thanks, in part, to the state's sentencing laws, according to a news article on NewsChief.com. His decision to veto the bill, which was passed by the Legislature, has been met with some criticism as the bill would have only affected non-violent offenders.

HB 177 would have created a program that would allow and support non-violent felony offenders, who have served 50 percent of their prison sentence, to re-enter the world as peaceful and productive members of society. This early release would be conditional on the felons meeting certain criteria and fulfilling certain requirements, including:

  • Requiring that the offender complete substance abuse treatment and rehabilitative program(s);
  • Requiring notice to state attorneys and courts;
  • Authorizing the state attorney to object to the release;
  • Directing a court to screen and choose eligible offenders;
  • Requiring that offenders enroll in adult education (in specified circumstances); and
  • Requiring the assessment of career education and vocational skills.

This program would have established a strict structure for felons who were considered to have a good chance to succeed and rejoin society, and thus prevent recidivism. But now there is no way to know if the program would have worked.

You can't rely on politicians to enact favorable laws to benefit your future. If you have been accused of a crime in Florida, your best chance of getting your charges reduced or dismissed is by retaining the services of an aggressive Florida criminal defense lawyer. At Musca Law, we are committed to protecting the legal rights of every one of our clients, regardless of the crime committed. To find out how we can help you, contact us today at (888) 484-5057 for a confidential consultation.