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Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers opposes Gov. DeSantis’ proposed riot law

Still photo from Gov. DeSantis' Oct. 20, 2020 press conference held in Jacksonville, FL.
Still photo from Gov. DeSantis' Oct. 20, 2020 press conference held in Jacksonville, FL.(Source: WWSB)
Published: Jan. 16, 2021 at 12:20 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers has released a statement in opposition of legislation urged by Governor Ron DeSantis that addresses “affrays, riots, routs, and unlawful assemblies,” saying it is “too broad an attack” on the First Amendment and the right to assemble.

The proposed legislation is a “solution in search of a problem,” according to the release.

The Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers says this legislation solves “no real crisis as current laws address the same concerns, without the attacks on due process and civil liberties.”

Per the press release, Chapter 870 of the Florida Statutes, already addresses the issues that Gov. DeSantis’ legislation covers.

The proposed bill includes provisions that disqualify persons from post-incarceration reemployment assistance and working with any state or local government entity. It also includes mandatory minimum sentences.

“This statute is unnecessary, overly complicated and will raise legal challenges that will require courts to decide for years to come,” the The Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers said. “In that respect, the legislation will create unnecessary litigation when the current laws have already been upheld as constitutional. The Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers urges legislators to vote against this bill.”

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