On Wednesday, Florida lawmakers passed a bill supported by Governor Ron DeSantis, which will allow for the death penalty to be imposed on individuals convicted of sexually abusing children.
HB 1297, otherwise known as the Capital Sexual Battery law, provides the death penalty for certain child sexual offenders. Separate death penalty proceedings are required, with a jury making findings and recommendations on whether the defendant should be sentenced to life imprisonment without parole or to death.
The bill from the Florida Legislature amends the law regarding sexual battery committed against children under the age of 12. The amendment provides for the possibility of imposing the death penalty on certain offenders and establishes procedures for determining whether a sentence of life imprisonment or death is appropriate. The bill also specifies aggravating factors and mitigating circumstances, provides for victim impact evidence, and allows for resentencing if the provisions are found to be unconstitutional.