With 'Carl’s Law,' Lawmaker Wants To Prevent Crimes Against People With Disabilities

Dec 7, 2015

A Florida lawmaker is trying to rename a section of Florida law, after Carl Starke.
Credit St. Johns County Sheriff's Office

There’s a part of Florida law that could be renamed, under a bill starting to move through the Florida Legislature. That statute deals with creating enhanced penalties for crimes against people with a physical or mental disability.

Bill sponsor, Rep. Cyndi Stevenson (R-St. Johns), says she wants to rename a particular section of state law to “Carl’s Law” to memorialize a person who lost his life in her district.

“This past August, Carl Henry Starke, an autistic resident of St. Johns County was killed on his way home from a shopping trip,” she said. “Sheriff David Shoar stated that the attacker had followed Carl home to steal his car because he was perceived as a soft target. He was then murdered in cold blood.”

Stevenson says her bill—which has passed its first House committee stop—seeks to honor Carl’s life and build awareness of Florida’s increased penalties for crimes committed against people with disabilities to help prevent future tragedies.

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