TALLAHASSEE, FL – Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to pass Senate Bill 468 which would allow judges to depart from mandatory minimum prison sentences and fines for drug trafficking offenses if certain conditions are met.
Kirk Bailey, ACLU of Florida political director responded to today’s vote saying:
“While we hope to see this bill amended to remove the various conditions placed on judicial discretion, passing this bill is most certainly a step in the right direction. Florida sends more of its citizens to prison and keeps them there longer than many other states. That’s due in part to mandatory minimum laws that require a one-size-fits-all approach to sentencing for certain offenses, regardless of the individual circumstances.
“The fact is mandatory minimums don’t reduce crime, and they disproportionately affect people of color. Criminal sentencing should be individualized, humane and sufficient to impose fair punishment and protect public safety. We urge Florida lawmakers to continue to advance this bill and allow judges to depart from outdated and excessive mandatory minimum sentences."