Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Legislation Toughening Penalties for Sex Criminals and Other Violent Offenders

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 537, which toughens penalties for sex criminals. The bill makes all attempted sexual misconduct criminals ineligible for “gain-time,” a Department of Corrections program that sometimes shortens periods of incarceration. It also eliminates sentence reduction eligibility for any person convicted of attempting, soliciting, or conspiring to commit an offense that is otherwise ineligible for the award of incentive gain-time.

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“There is no meaningful difference between a criminal that committed a crime of sexual violence and a criminal that attempted but failed to commit that same crime — neither deserve to have their sentences cut short,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “While other states endanger their citizens by prematurely putting criminals back on the streets, Florida will continue to enact policies to protect our communities from violent offenders.”

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Earlier this month, Governor DeSantis signed historic anti-crime, pro-public safety legislation to strengthen pre-trial detention and push back against “bail reform” efforts that have made other states significantly less safe; increase sentences for drug traffickers that target children; and make child rapists eligible for the death penalty. The Governor proposed HB 537, signed today, as part of a comprehensive law and order legislative proposal announced in January.

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