Departures From Florida's 10-20-Life Sentence Enhancement: Policy Recommendations for Reporting Across Judicial Circuits

Julie Kunselman, University of West Florida
Kathrine Johnson, University of West Florida

The purpose of this research originally was to identify and describe offenders who were departures from the State of Florida's 10-20-Life sentence enhancement. This enhancement provides mandatory terms of imprisonment for avarying uses of firearms during the commission of specific enumerated offenses. Prosecutors are required to report to the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association (FPAA) any offenders who were eligible for the enhancement, but were not be charged or prosecuted under that enhancement. The data were collected from the reports filed by prosecutors to the FPAA. As the data were analyzed, it became evident that there were no policies or procedures in place governing the consistency with which prosecutors were reporting this information. Further, in the process of trying to verify missing or ambiguous data, the researchers found that information reported to the FPAA was contradictory to information provided by the Florida Department of Corrections. This research specifically focuses on the problems of reporting and makes policy recommendations to allow for and require consistent reporting across judicial circuits.

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Updated 05/20/2006