On Monday, Governor Ron DeSantis went to Titusville in order to sign three pieces of legislation, one of which was designed to increase the penalties for individuals who trade fentanyl.
House Bill 1359 increases the penalties for those who sell, produce, or distribute fentanyl as well as those who possess it with the aim to conduct any of the aforementioned activities.
However, this only applies if the fentanyl in question satisfies particular conditions, such as seeming to be candy or a branded food product.
According to WTSP, the introduction of this measure is in reaction to concerns over rainbow fentanyl, which is a brightly colored substance that has the appearance of candy but is actually loaded with the narcotic.
Those who sell drugs to minors would be subject to a sentence of life in prison under the new legislation.
DeSantis also signed HB 1297, a bill that assures the minimum term for all child rapists is life in prison without the possibility of parole, and pursues changes to re-establish the death punishment.
Today, I signed legislation that will:
– Makes child rapists eligible for the death penalty with the minimum sentence of life in prison without parole
– Impose additional penalties on fentanyl and drug-related crimes targeted at children
– Protect Floridians from disastrous… pic.twitter.com/sO1mkcfm0a
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) May 1, 2023
HB 1297 was introduced by DeSantis and was co-sponsored by Senator Marco Rubio. Both the Supreme Court of the United States and the Supreme Court of Florida have held, over the course of several years, that it is contrary to the Constitution to put defendants on trial for rape to death through the execution process.
DeSantis has stated that he is of the opinion that the ruling in question was inappropriate and that he intends to contest the precedent using this measure. The state of Florida served as the legislation’s primary sponsor. Representative Jessica Baker, R-Jacksonville, is a member of the Republican Party.
“We really believe that part of a just society is to have appropriate punishment,” DeSantis stated.“The worst of the worst crimes deserve the worst of the worst punishment.”
Another piece of legislation that was passed and signed into law on Monday was House Bill 1627.
This piece of legislation mandates that the Florida Supreme Court establish a statewide bail schedule and add the offenses of DUI manslaughter, fentanyl trafficking, written threats to murder, and extortion to the list of crimes that are eligible for pretrial detention.