Florida Changes Harsh Sentencing Law, Too Late for Many Inmates


Joanna Andreasson

In 1999, the state of Florida reinstated strict mandatory minimum sentences to crack down on opioid abuse. Thereafter, illegally possessing just 28 oxycodone pills could put a person away for no less than 15 years on a trafficking charge. The effort has been an abject failure.

In 2014, the Florida legislature tweaked the law in response to concerns that the tough sentences were mostly ensnaring low-level offenders. It now takes roughly 50 oxycodone pills to trigger a 15-year mandatory minimum.

But the reform was not retroactive. As a result, hundreds of inmates who were sentenced before the changes are serving far more time than they should be, and the state Department of Corrections is saddled with an aging prison population.

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  1. Solution: make drugs legal and then release all drug charge convicted inmates.

    Problem: unemployment numbers shoot up for sitting President which is why Obama did not push for states and Congress to drastically change drug laws.

  2. But the reform was not retroactive.

    For sure the only way the reform had a chance.

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  4. Jeb Bush’s daughter- Noelle [spelling? ]- stole a prescription pad & bout oxy & more all around the Capital during Jeb’s drug war as Governor in early 2000’s. He influenced her not being arrested for quite a while according to the media accounts. He personally got her treatment instead of mandatory minimum & only charged with 1 instead of all the charges against her. She checked into rehab and had crack on her. It was weighed based on the percent of pure cocaine & the media accounts & courts were ordered to change the reference of crack to ‘rock cocaine that had been cut with other substances’. Even then she should have been under another charge of cocaine & mandatory minimum sentencing, but she ‘needed help’. Versus US Floridian Citizens who enjoy “zero tolerance & mandatory prison sentence” during Jeb’s reign of terror in Florida.

    This article is about a little less total batcrap policy. It is horrible to me if these different rules for different stratification of Plutocracy of Jeb and his ilk is not shared for context. We should find equal justice in the US. If this had been my Hispanic mixed daughter instead of Jeb’s, she would still be in Florida prison. That’s not right.

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