DeSantis signs series of anti-crime bills into law

by | May 1, 2023

  • Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a trio of anti-crime bills on Monday, bolstering penalties for fentanyl trafficking, imposing capital punishment on criminals charged with child rape, and establishing new bond regulations.
  • The Florida Supreme Court will be required to establish a uniform statewide bond schedule and prohibit individuals who have been arrested for specific crimes from being released before their first appearance in court.
  • Under the bill package, those caught trafficking “rainbow fentanyl” will be made eligible for a life sentence and face a minimum 25-year sentence, as well as a $1 million fine.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a series of anti-crime bills into law on Monday including measures that impose lifelong prison sentences for criminals convicted of child rape and upgraded sentencing to sell or manufacture fentanyl byproducts disguised as candy.

The most wide-ranging of the bills, House Bill 1627, requires the state Supreme Court to develop a uniform statewide bond schedule by the beginning of next year, establishing a standard set of bail amounts for different crimes across the whole state. Moreover, the legislation prohibits the chief judge of a judicial circuit from setting a lower bail amount for a crime than what is on the statewide bond schedule without approval from the Florida Supreme Court. However, it allows them to set a higher bail amount.

The House bill also prohibits individuals who have been arrested for specific crimes from being released before their first appearance in court while also allowing courts to consider nonmonetary conditions of release in place of bail.

It also adds certain crimes like DUI manslaughter and extortion to the list of “dangerous crimes” that can lead to pretrial detention.

“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.

A second House bill, HB 1359, targets “rainbow fentanyl” and its production, trafficking, and purchase. According to the bill’s language, those caught trafficking rainbow fentanyl will be made eligible for a life sentence and face a minimum 25-year sentence, as well as a $1 million fine.

The legislation also makes it a first-degree felony to possess, sell, or manufacture fentanyl and other controlled substances that resemble candy.

“We treat criminals like criminals,” said Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, who joined DeSantis at the bill signing on Monday. “And we don’t blur the line between criminals and victims. In Florida, we’ll make sure criminals go where they belong — behind bars.”

DeSantis also signed House Bill 1297, which imposes the death penalty on criminals who commit sexual battery against children under the age of 12.

According to the Governor’s Office, DeSantis is prepared to take the measure to the U.S. Supreme Court to overrule judicial precedents which he claims have unjustly shielded child rapists from the death penalty.

Prior state and federal court rulings have established a precedence of unconstitutionality in levying the death penalty against defendants in the court of law.


  1. Chris B.

    I doubt desantis wants to really put his own friends behind bars. This is obvious posturing and distraction methods.

  2. Jim

    Gov. DeSantis is a very strong Christian and finds child abuse sickening and this is way he wants the DP for those that rape children. I cannot agree with him on THAT Bill as it is an overreach for that crime and the DP should be reserved for those that rape, or molest children and then murder them. THAT I can support!

  3. Mary Mead

    The 2022 Florida Statutes, Title IV, Executive Branch, Chapter 14, Governor states:
    14.01 Governor; residence; office; authority to protect life, liberty, and property. . . . The Governor may employ as many persons as he or she, in his or her discretion, may deem necessary to procure and secure protection to life, liberty, and property of the inhabitants of the state, also to protect the property of the state. History.—ch. 1660, 1868; RS 68; GS 69; RGS 83; CGL 104; s. 1, ch. 65-54; s. 32, ch. 95-147.

    It appears that his job to procure and secure protection of life, liberty and property of the inhabitants of the state. I have reported to him four times during his administration that Florida officials (City, County and State) have repeatedly and consistently committed apparent illegal/criminal actions (mostly felonies) against me, an elderly widowed woman veteran and my late husband, an elderly veteran.

    His official answer three times was to get a lawyer and the last response on January 3, 2023 was: “I will never let up in my fight to protect your families, your livelihoods, and your freedom.” Well, Governor DeSantis had not lifted a finger to stop the sadistic persecution that my late husband and I have endured since we purchased a business in downtown Pensacola on July 1, 1998. Our business has been illegally closed 20 years of the 25 years we have owned the business.

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