Florida Justices OK Longer Terms for Gun Crimes

By: AP
By: AP


The state Supreme Court says maximum penalties can be exceeded for serious crimes committed with firearms in some cases under Florida's "10-20-Life" law.

The high court made the ruling Thursday in a 4-3 opinion. The
decision resolved a conflict among lower courts.

It also upheld a 35-year sentence for Charles Medenhall, who was
convicted in 2007 of attempted second-degree murder in Lake County.
If not for the 10-20-Life law his maximum would have been 30 years.

The law sets minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years for certain
crimes including murder, robbery and rape committed with firearms.
The minimum is 20 years if the weapon is discharged and 25 years to
life if someone is seriously injured or killed.

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  • by Terry Location: Tallahassee on Oct 28, 2010 at 01:31 PM
    Here's the opinion http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/decisions/2010/sc09-400.pdf It's not a matter of being FOR or AGAINST the 10-20-Life law; it's a matter of the court struggling to reconcile the fact that our legislature told them to do two different things: limit the sentence to 30 years (a first degree felony) but also to impose a minimum mandatory sentence of 25 years to life. The question was whether it was okay to impose a 35-year minimum mandatory sentence, and several appellate courts came to different conclusions. Believe it or not, issues like this are a lot more complicated than being "for" or "against" tough sentences for criminals. Critics of appellate opinions need to go and READ a few opinions to see what a difficult job our appellate judges have before they roll their eyes.
  • by Anonymous on Oct 28, 2010 at 01:27 PM
    They were not against the 10-20-life law. Read the article. They were against being able to sentence criminals beyond the 10-20-life rule.
  • by dog Location: gone on Oct 28, 2010 at 12:08 PM
    Don't be a THUG criminal and it won't matter, what is scarry is that 3 judges were against the 10-20-life law.
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