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Crist wants his Anti-Murder Act passed and $21.8M to start it

Published January 30, 2007


JACKSONVILLE - Gov. Charlie Crist said Monday that he wants the Legislature to pass his Anti-Murder Act to help reduce violent crimes and Internet child pornography by forcing judges to keep violent criminals in jail pending trial if they are accused of violating probation.

Crist said he will ask the Legislature to allocate $21.8-million to implement the act, which has failed twice before. An additional 1,352 offenders will be imprisoned under the act at a cost of $161.8-million over the next three years, he said.

"Florida has already lost too many people too early in their lives," Crist said. "We cannot permit violent felony offenders to walk the streets if they violate the terms of their probation."

Crist said many violent crimes against children have been committed by people who violated their probation. He mentioned the slayings of Carlie Brucia, Jessica Lunsford, Sarah Lunde and the six young people slain in Deltona in 2004 over an Xbox.

Crist, joined by Attorney General Bill McCollum, Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton and Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford, selected a high-crime area of Jacksonville to discuss the act, which Crist first visited when he was attorney general. While campaigning for governor, Crist said passing the act was his first priority.

Jacksonville had about 110 murders and 140 homicides in 2006, and authorities have been working to reduce the murder and violence rate. Between 1999 and 2005, Jacksonville was the murder capital in Florida, based on its population. Final figures are not yet available for 2006.

"My proposed budget reflects a comprehensive plan to help ensure the safety of all Floridians and keep criminals off the streets and away from our children," Crist said.

[Last modified January 30, 2007, 01:12:22]

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