Oct 24, 2018

Freedom Partners Endorses Amendment 11 in Florida

Post by Freedom Partners

Arlington, VA — Today, Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce announced its support for Amendment 11 in Florida.

Currently, if someone is arrested for a crime in Florida, they’ll be prosecuted under the statute that’s in effect when the alleged crime was committed. Among other things, this ballot initiative would ensure that criminal defendants are prosecuted under the most current laws on the books.

Freedom Partners Chairman Mark Holden issued the following statement:

“We strongly endorse Amendment 11 because it protects public safety and makes Florida’s criminal justice policies fairer and more just. By guaranteeing that alleged crimes are prosecuted under the most current laws on the books, Amendment 11 makes punishments more proportional and ensures that people aren’t sentenced under failed policies that have been deemed outdated.

“This smart-on-crime reform will help reduce crime and prison populations in the Sunshine State and will give many Floridians a much-needed second chance. We urge all Floridians to vote YES on Amendment 11 because it is simply the right thing to do for society.”

BACKGROUND

In 2014, Florida reduced sentences for some nonviolent drug offenders. However, as the group FAMM points out, “the [state] constitution won’t let the legislature apply those changes to people already in prison.” Amendment 11 would allow the state to apply these sentencing reforms retroactively.

Contrary to what critics claim, recent studies have shown that applying new sentencing laws retroactively does not increase the likelihood that people will re-offend. A report issued earlier this year by the U.S. Sentencing Commission found “no difference between the recidivism rates for offenders who were released early due to retroactive application of the FSA Guideline Amendment and offenders who had served their full sentences before the FSA Guideline Amendment reduction retroactively took effect.”