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Legislation Fixing Youthful Offender Sentencing Process Progresses

Mitchell Haindfield

In Florida a court can sentence a person under the age of 21 as a youthful offender. If a court does so that person can only receive a maximum sentence of six years. But the court process can take time. Public Defender Carey Haughwout says a bill moving through the legislature makes sure people aren't penalized by the delay.

"It doesn't change obviously the courts' discretion in determining whether to sentence somebody as a youthful offender. But, it does eliminate sort of the rush to sentencing hearing shtat we ahve been experiencing in order to have the hearing prior to age 21," said Haughwout.

The House proposal has two more committee stops, while an identical bill in the Senate is in its last committee stop.