Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Florida: Call for Pardon

Michael Giles
It is reported that "a major Republican donor" is asking Gov. Rick Scott to grant clemency to one Michael Giles
" ... a military veteran who was 26 in February 2010 when he became involved in a brawl outside a nightclub in Tallahassee. His supporters say he fired two shots after being pushed to the ground and only shot in self defense. But he was found guilty of aggravated battery with a firearm and sentenced to 25 years in prison, the minimum allowable under Florida’s 10-20-Life mandatory minimum sentencing law."
The donor is one Daniel Loeb, a billionaire  hedge fund manager, who is also described (in e-mails uncovered by the Orlando Sentinel) as "one of [the Republican Governor's Association’s] largest contributor[s]," a Florida resident that is "quite passionate about criminal justice reform.”

It is noted that the Giles case:
... has become a rallying point for groups looking to soften Florida’s mandatory minimum laws, but also for African-American civil rights groups hoping to change the state’s Stand Your Ground laws. Giles is black but did not use the Stand Your Ground defense in his trial. Sen. Dwight Bullard, D-Miami, publicly called for Scott to pardon Giles in March. 
See full story here.

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