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Florida’s Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Laws

Neil Conway via FLickr

Earlier this month, President Barak Obama commuted the sentences of 46 inmates serving long prison sentences for non-violent drug offenses including 11 people in Florida and one in Fort Myers.  In a video statement from the White House, Obama said, “These men and women were not hardened criminals, but the overwhelming majority had been sentenced to at least 20 years.  14 of them had been sentenced to life for non-violent drug offenses so their punishment didn’t fit the crime.”

As Florida has one of the highest prison populations in the country, we’ll examine the impact of the state’s mandatory minimum sentencing laws, particularly when it comes to non-violent drug related offenses and efforts to increase judicial discretion.


State Rep. Katie Edwards, D-Sunrise, representing District 98

Greg Newburn, State Policy Director for Families Against Mandatory Minimums

Kathleen Smith, Public Defender, Florida’s 20th Judicial Circuit serving Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee Counties