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Pro-Scott sheriffs blast Crist's 10-20-Life remarks

With the Florida media, and especially TV, feasting on the story of why on-duty working cops would be at a campaign event for Gov. Rick Scott (which is barred by law), his handlers knew just what to do Friday: try to change the subject.

So Scott's campaign rolled out a statement from 23 sheriffs who accused Democrat Charlie Crist of a "reversal" on his past support for minimum mandatory prison sentences in the state's 10-20-Life law. "Charlie Crist's reversal on his support of 10-20-Life legislation and mandatory minimums threatens the incredible progress we have made over the last 15 years to make Florida safe for families and visitors," their statement said.

Crist told a statewide gathering of news editors Thursday that the Legislature should review the 10-20-Life law after hearing of a case in which a man was sentenced to 80 years in prison for firing a gun into the air.

The Associated Press quoted Crist as saying: "I'm always open-minded to looking at those kinds of things. When you're faced with new facts, I think you ought to listen."

 

From the AP's account: Crist responded to a question about the case of Ronald Williams, who is serving four minimum mandatory 20-year prison terms after being convicted of pointing a gun at four gay men who were whistling and ogling him from a neighbor's Riviera Beach home, then firing into the air several times. Nobody was hurt. The judge who sentenced Williams said the law gave him no leeway and that the sentences had to run consecutively -- effectively handing down a life sentence for Williams, who was 26 at the time of the crime.

Williams has appealed to the Florida Supreme Court, arguing that judges should have more discretion. "It doesn't sound fair and it doesn't sound equitable," Crist said. "I think fairness should be the standard on which we look at any statute."

 

Comments

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ed jenkins

democrat primary voters including this one are disgusted that party leaders continue to ignore what a disaster this scumbag crist who was sent as a Trojan horse by the republican party has become. They are horrified that this man is now trying to change the party image to one as soft on crime.

Corrina Henschen

Eugene Anthony Elsperman was sentenced to serve two consecutive 20 year sentences under the Florida 10-20-Life law. Mr.Elsperman was charged with two counts of assault with a firearm WITHOUT the intent to harm. He had an altercation with the occupants of a vehicle his ex-roommates where in. Mr.Elsperman states that he was struck by the vehicle as it they pulled out of his driveway. Mr.Elsperman states that as he got up to his knees he saw their brake lights come on and believed they were stopping to comeback to hit him again. He then pulled his side arm a .22 revolver and fired four shots, aiming just below the blur of their brake lights in hopes of taking out their tires. All four shots missed hitting nothing. It is worth mentioning that Mr.Elsperman is legally blind without his prescription eyeglasses, which were knocked off his face as he fell. Mr.Elsperman also has ulcers the size of half dollars in his legs that keep him from being able to run or make any quick movements. He has no chance of parole nor will he get gain time. Mr.Elsperman will have to serve the entirety of both 20 year sentences, he is 39 and in poor health he has been on disability for 3 years due to his legs. This is a death sentence for this man he will surely die in prison even though not only was no one injured there wasn't even property damage. Mr.Elspermans intent was not to kill or injure only to defend himself. The ex-roommates he fired at agree that it is an absurd amount of time. If you wish to write about this and need more details contact me at my email address above. Thank you for taking the time to read this and please help me get this injustice righted.

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