Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed a new package of crime bills into law to crack down on criminal activities and keep offenders off the streets.
The Governor explained that the three bills aim to protect and ensure the safety of Florida’s communities by imposing harsher penalties on criminals.
One of the bills, House Bill 1627, targets “bail reforms” with measures to prohibit judges from setting a bond amount lower than the uniform state bond and to prevent defendants from being released before their first court appearance after arrest for violent or heinous crimes. The bill also adds more crimes to the state’s list of “dangerous crimes.”
House Bill 1359 imposes heavier criminal penalties on those involved in “rainbow fentanyl” trafficking by making them eligible for life imprisonment. The bill also makes it a first-degree felony to manufacture, sell, or possess controlled substances similar to candy, and the possession or sale of fentanyl is strictly prohibited, with minimum 25-year imprisonment and a $1 million penalty.
Another bill, House Bill 1297, imposes the death penalty for pedophiles who sexually assault children under the age of 12.
DeSantis emphasized his commitment to protecting Florida’s residents and maintaining the state’s record low crime rate. “For three consecutive legislative sessions, we have enacted tough-on-crime policies,” he said in a statement. “This year we are continuing to implement measures to protect our communities and keep Florida safe, with a particular emphasis on keeping criminals in jail and throwing the book at pedophiles.”
DeSantis also stated his willingness to take legal action to overrule judicial precedents that shield child rapists from the death penalty. Furthermore, he passed a previous bill into law last month that reduced the jury vote requirement for death penalties from 12 to eight jurors.