‘Do the time’: Gov. weighs in on accused Valrico killer’s release from prison

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis weighed in on the case of James Hanson on Thursday.

Hanson has been arrested and charged with bank robbery, carjacking and the murder of Mathew Korattiyil.

Hanson had been sentenced to life in prison for a 2002 bank robbery in Tampa. He was released from prison last month after the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office used Hanson as a material witness in another murder case.

The State Attorney’s office says there were legal problems with Hanson’s original conviction and, coupled with his testimony in the murder case, it was enough to allow him to be released from prison.

A statement released by the State Attorney’s office on Wednesday says, in part, “The hard reality of our criminal justice system is that sometimes prosecutors have to use the testimony of criminals to convict other criminals.”

Gov. DeSantis told reporters Thursday he believes a life sentence should be a life sentence.

“To me, I think whenever you do the crime you should do the time. Victims go through a terrible process and then when the sentence is administered that gives them some closure,” he said. “Sometimes with a murder you can never have full (closure), but then to see that the person ends up not serving the full service, that is really bad for victims.”

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