"Rachel's Law" Moves Through Florida Capitol

By: Blaine Tolison Email
By: Blaine Tolison Email

"Rachel's Law" moved through the Senate Criminal Justice Committee on Wednesday with Rachel Hoffman's parents following it every step of the way as they sat and watched. Their 23-year-old daughter was killed during a botched police drug buy in May of last year and now they want to make sure no one else has to experience their pain.

Irv Hoffman said, "We need change. We need checks and balances. There has to be rules. And only then will there be hope for anyone trying to turn their life around."

"Rachel's Law" is designed to protect police informants and their rights. Currently, lawmakers say there are no guidelines for how police use confidential informants, but the bill could provide new rules of conduct by the end of this year's legislative session.

One of the bill's sponsors, Senator Mike Fasano, says he is confident the measure will continue to move forward and give the state a point of reference that it did not have before.

Republican Senator Mike Fasano of the Pasco County area said, "When you look at a year ago, we didn't have anything in place. Today, we have a piece of legislation moving through the process that will require law enforcement agencies to follow procedure."

The bill is currently supported by several parties including the Florida Police Chief's Association and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. However, Rachel's Law must pass through two more committees before it makes it to the Senate floor for a vote.

"If what we have done today, by passing some legislation and moving it on will save a life, save a Rachel down the road, then I think we've accomplished something." said Fasano. If passed, Senator Fasano says "Rachel's Law" could be signed in by Governor Charlie Crist sometime in April.

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