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Political posturing may get in way of modifying sentencing statutes

An effort to modify Florida's sentencing laws and sharpen the focus on re-entry and probation programs could mirror other states' successful efforts.

But the change may get lost in 2014 amid a chorus of tough-on-crime election year platitudes. It's a predictable but sad possibility, because the Legislature isn't really tough on crime.

Being tough on crime means dealing with nonviolent offenders in a way that saves tax dollars and leaves prison beds for the truly dangerous. It means funding the state attorney and public defender offices so young lawyers can earn a salary more comparable with their private practice colleagues. It means properly financing the court system.

When a legislator tells you he or she is tough on crime, respond with two words: prove it. ...

Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, called out former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker for being quiet on the special election for the late C.W. Bill Young's congressional seat, tweeting Friday: "Rick Baker's silence has hurt the GOP on St. Pete Mayor's race. It is now hurting us in CD 13 Special. Come on, Mayor!" Baker said Saturday he won't run, but it still hurts the GOP. ...

Seen on a bumper sticker: Eschew Practicality. ...

The next installment of 83 Degrees' Not Your Average Speaker series will focus on the challenge facing military personnel who seek jobs in the private sector. It's from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Tampa Firefighters Museum, 720 E Zack St. ...

Be decadent and help the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida. Come to Friday's Dessert First fundraiser and get sinful treats made from Girl Scout cookies by some of the area's top chefs. Details at

That's all I'm saying.

Political posturing may get in way of modifying sentencing statutes 11/03/13 [Last modified: Sunday, November 3, 2013 10:41pm]
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