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Bill revises elements that constitute capital offenses

Senior Editor Top Stories
Scott Plakon

Rep. Scott Plakon

A pair of Central Florida lawmakers have filed measures that would, among other things, make it easier to charge adult meth dealers with first-degree murder, and enhance penalties for selling drugs within 1,000 feet of a rehab facility.

Rep. Scott Plakon, R-Longwood, filed HB 95 on September 13. Sen. Jason Brodeur, R-Lake Mary, filed an identical measure, SB 190, on September 14.

Neither measure has received committee references ahead of the 60-day session that convenes January 11. Interim committee meetings are scheduled to begin September 20.

The measures would amend the definition of first-degree murder under Florida Ch. 782 by adding “methamphetamine” to a list of unlawfully distributed substances that “have caused, or is proven to have been a substantial factor in producing the death of the user.”

Sen. Jason Brodeur

Sen. Jason Brodeur

The measures would define “substantial factor” as when “the use of the substance or mixture alone is sufficient to cause death, regardless of whether any other substance or mixture used is also sufficient to cause death.”

The measures would also enhance criminal penalties for the possession, sale, manufacture, or delivery of controlled substances within 1,000 feet of a “mental health facility,” that provides substance abuse treatment, a “recovery residence,” or “pain management clinic.”

The measures would take effect October 1, 2022.

Similar enhancements already apply to drug possession, manufacture, sale, and delivery within 1,000 feet of a school or other “drug-free” zones.

Plakon, a business owner, chairs the Justice Appropriations Subcommittee. Brodeur, a Realtor and health care consultant, is vice chair of the Health Policy Committee.

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