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Crist commutes sentence in Tampa manslaughter

From the Times' Meg Laughlin: Jennifer Martin, who was convicted of manslaughter in a 1998 car crash that killed a passenger, had her sentenced cut in half Tuesday by Gov. Charlie Crist. She will be released Wednesday from prison.

Martin, 30, was sentenced in 2000 to 16 years in prison for her role in the Interstate 4 crash that killed Josh Nicola, 23, and severely injured Scott Schutt, 23.

Crist's decision followed a clemency hearing last week at which Martin's former prosecutor had sought mercy. Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink had championed Martin's clemency bid after reading a story in the St. Petersburg Times.

The other two members of the state's clemency board, Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson and State Attorney General Bill McCollum, also voted to commute Martin's sentence.