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Bill Making Changes To Florida's 10-20-Life Law Passes First Senate Panel

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MGN Online

A bill changing Florida’s minimum mandatory sentencing rules passed its first Senate panel Monday.

Under Florida’s 10-20-Life law, a person could be charged with aggravated assault and get 20 years for discharging a firearm. Jacksonville Republican Senator Aaron Bean says that’s even if the person has no criminal history, is making a self-defense claim and just only fired a warning shot. Bean originally filed a measure giving judges discretion to hand out a lesser sentence in all cases, but lawmakers narrowed the measure Monday for aggravated assault cases only.

“And, so we just want to say the net we cast was too big a net, and we just want to make sure some of these folks—just for defending themselves—shouldn’t automatically be sent to prison,” said Bean.

The measure now has the backing of the NRA, state attorneys, public defenders, police chiefs, the sheriffs association, and Families Against Mandatory Minimums, which brought the original bill forward.

Stay tuned to Friday's Capital Report for more on this story!

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.