DeSantis Signs Legislation Allowing Death Penalty for Child Rapists: ‘Throwing the Book at Pedophiles’

On Monday, Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis signed a new bill to not only give more substance to penalties for drug dealers who target children, but also to make child rapists eligible for the death penalty.

DeSantis’ office announced the new laws during a Monday afternoon press release, in which they described the measures as a way to “strengthen public safety and further Florida’s position as the leading state in the nation for law and order.”

“Florida is a law-and-order state with a 50-year record low crime rate and double-digit year-over-year decreases in murder, burglary, and overall crime,” DeSantis declared, asserting that the measures are designed “to protect our communities and keep Florida safe, with a particular emphasis on keeping criminals in jail and throwing the book at pedophiles.”

LifeSite News reports:

One of the new laws, HB 1627, will shield Floridians from the impacts of progressive “bail reform” policies that have contributed to spiking crime rates in communities that have implemented them.

The law will work to curb the problem by requiring the implementation of a “uniform statewide bond schedule by the end of the year,” prohibiting any chief judge of a judicial circuit from setting a lower bond than the statewide schedule requires, and toughening pretrial detention requirements.

Another bill, HB 1359, will crack down on the possession, sale, manufacture, and distribution of fentanyl or other controlled substances that are made to look like candy in order to attract children.

Traffickers of such substances will be subject to a minimum sentence of 25 years behind bars with a $1 million penalty. They’ll also be eligible for a life sentence. Those who “possess, sell, or manufacture fentanyl and other controlled substances that resemble candy” will be guilty of a first-degree felony.

HB 1297, meanwhile, is the fulfillment of DeSantis’ earlier promise to significantly increase punishments for convicted pedophiles.

Under the new law, any person found guilty of the heinous crime of raping a child under the age of 12 will face the minimum sentence of life in prison without parole as well as be eligible for capital punishment.

“Such crimes destroy the innocence of a young child and violate all standards of decency held by civilized society,” HB 1297 states.

For a death penalty, eight out of 12 jurors must recommend it. This is a drop in the previous minimum of required consensus, which led to be set at a unanimous vote. However, last month DeSantis signed a separate law to drop the consensus down to a two-thirds majority vote.


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