TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA) – Governor Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 537 Thursday, which toughens penalties for sex criminals.
HB 537 makes it so all attempted sexual misconduct criminals are ineligible for “gain-time,” a program by the Department of Corrections that “sometimes shortens periods of incarceration.”
“There is no meaningful difference between a criminal that committed a crime of sexual violence and a criminal that attempted but failed to commit that same crime — neither deserve to have their sentences cut short,” Gov. DeSantis said in a statement. “While other states endanger their citizens by prematurely putting criminals back on the streets, Florida will continue to enact policies to protect our communities from violent offenders.”
The bill also eliminates sentence reduction eligibility for any person convicted of attempting, soliciting, or conspiring to commit an offense that is otherwise ineligible for the award incentive gain-time.
Earlier this month, Gov. DeSantis also signed a “historic” anti-crime, pro-public safety legislation to strengthen pre-trial detention and push back against “bail reform” efforts that have made other states significantly less safe, increase sentences for drug traffickers that target children, and make child rapists eligible for the death penalty.
The Florida governor signed the legislature just one day after announcing he’s officially entering the presidential race for the 2024 election.