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(Photo by Octavio Jones/Getty Images)

OAN Roy Francis
UPDATED 10:16 AM – Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed a set of new crime bills into law which are meant to keep criminals in jail, and “throw the book at pedophiles” on Monday.

The three new bills, House Bill 1627, House Bill 1359, and House Bill 1297, increase the penalties for fentanyl traffickers, target bail reforms that are pushed by “leftist prosecutors,” as well as allowing the death penalty for those who commit certain crimes against minors.

“Today, I signed legislation that will: Makes child rapists eligible for the death penalty with the minimum sentence of life in prison without parole,” DeSantis (R-Fla.) said on Twitter. “Impose additional penalties on fentanyl and drug-related crimes targeted at children, Protect Floridians from disastrous bail ‘reform’ policies.”

House Bill 1627 targeted “bail reforms” with a variety of changes which included requiring the state’s Supreme Court to create a uniform bond schedule for the entire state by the end of 2023.

House Bill 1359 aimed to increase penalties against “rainbow fentanyl” traffickers by increasing the sentence to a possible life term in prison. Also, under the new bill, if someone attempts to create or sell fentanyl, they face a mandatory minimum of three years in prison, and If an adult sells, or gives fentanyl to a minor, the mandatory sentence will be up to 25 years in prison.

The last bill the governor signed, House Bill 1297, which imposes the death penalty against those who “commit sexual battery against children under the age of 12.”

The governor supported the signing of the bill by saying that pedophiles rapists “should face the ultimate punishment,” and said that he would “go all the way to the United States Supreme Court to overrule judicial precedents which have unjustly shielded child rapists from the death penalty.”

“In Florida, we stand for the protection of children,” he said. “Unfortunately, in our society, we have very heinous sex crimes that are committed against children under the age of 12 years old. These are really the worst of the worst. The perpetrators of these crimes are often serial offenders.”

“Florida is a law-and-order state with a 50-year record low crime rate and double-digit year-over-year decreases in murder, burglary, and overall crime,” DeSantis said in a statement. “For three consecutive legislative sessions we have enacted tough-on-crime policies, and this year we are continuing to implement measures to protect our communities and keep Florida safe, with a particular emphasis on keeping criminals in jail and throwing the book at pedophiles.”

The signing of the new bills come after DeSantis also passed a law in April which stated that only eight jurors are needed to give the death sentence to a defendant instead of the previous requirement which was that all 12 of the jurors would have to unanimously agree on the sentence.

However, juries are still needed to unanimously find defendants guilty of the crime before the sentencing phase commences.

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