Last week, a Senate panel moved unanimously to ease up on part of Florida’s tough-on-crime tradition, easing mandatory sentences for drug offenders who can get stuck with lengthy prison sentences for carrying a handful of pills. Unfortunately, the measure seems to be struggling to find support elsewhere.
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The shift comes with political risks for Republicans, who, by favoring programs like drug treatment and work-release over lengthy prison sentences, can expose themselves to accusations that they’re soft on crime.
Two bills filed in the Florida legislature this week would eliminate mandatory sentencing for trafficking in marijuana, cocaine, heroin and other controlled substances like methamphetamine.