By Jonathan Mattise
TALLAHASSEE - It took three years, but Rep. Gayle Harrell is finally poised to change state law in honor of a slain Port St. Lucie teen.
The Stuart Republican’s proposed Brittany’s Law, named after 17-year-old Brittany Carleo, has cleared the House and Senate and is headed to Gov. Rick Scott for his signature into law. Carleo was murdered in 2006 by a 42-year-old sex offender who bonded out after arrest.
A Harrell proposal on sex offenses, which first contained Brittany’s Law, had stalled in the Senate. So Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Orange Park, offered to tuck the provision into HB 7035 (PDF), a pretrial detention bill. The House agreed to the final version of HB 7035 with Brittany’s Law in a 119-0 vote Thursday.
- Yep, this is how these sneaky people work. If you cannot pass it one way, sneak it into another bill with a different title.
In the proposal, if registered sexual predators and offenders are arrested again on unrelated charges, they would be kept in jail until a judge can determine whether they’re too dangerous to release. Individuals with those records would be held up to 24 hours before potentially being released, as long as the crime is more severe than a traffic misdemeanor.