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NCJ Number: 200574 Find in a Library
Title: Profiling Sentence Enhancement Offenders: A Case Study of Florida's 10-20-Lifers
Journal: Criminal Justice Policy Review  Volume:14  Issue:2  Dated:June 2003  Pages:229-248
Author(s): Julie C. Kunselman; Kathrine A. Johnson; Michael C. Rayboun
Date Published: June 2003
Page Count: 20
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study developed a profile of criminals incarcerated as 10-20-life offenders under Florida law and was the initial stage of a postimpact analysis of the statute.
Abstract: Laws such as 10-20-life can be viewed as sentence enhancements and, as such, are in the category of mandatory minimum sentences. They impose a mandatory minimum penalty for a specific crime and allow no deviation by the judge in sentencing. The objectives of Florida's 10-20-life statute are to punish offenders who possess or use a firearm during the commission of an offense and deter potential offenders from committing such offenses by sentencing these offenders to mandatory minimum sentences. Offenders sentenced under 10-20-life are not eligible for statutory gain-time or any form of discretionary early release prior to serving the minimum sentence imposed. The study reported in this article obtained data on all incarcerated 10-20-life offenders (n=1,065 as of November 1, 2001). The data indicate that Florida's 10-20-lifers are overwhelmingly male (96 percent) and one-half are between the ages of 23 and 41. Eighty percent of the offenses were for felons in possession of a firearm or concealed weapon and robbery with a firearm or deadly weapon. Slightly over one-half of the offenders were sentenced to a term of 3 years, and the remaining were sentenced to 10 or more years. The average sentence received was 8 years. The average sentence length was significantly higher for Black offenders sentenced under 10-20-life. Moreover, Black offenders received all nine of the life sentences. This study is the first step in examining the impact of changes in policy on the existing Florida justice system. The findings of this study, and from extensions of this study, might act as a model for other jurisdictions in their efforts to institute, implement, or review similar mandatory minimum statutes. 6 tables, 4 notes, and 42 references
Main Term(s): Corrections policies
Index Term(s): Florida; Illicit firearms; Mandatory Sentencing; Offender profiles; Sentencing factors; State laws; Weapons violations
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