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Florida Constitution Revision Commission

PUB 700271: Criminal Justice Reform (Parole) by Marshall Kobrin

ARTICLE IV: EXECUTIVE, Section 8. Clemency.

SECTION 8.Clemency.
  1. Except in cases of treason and in cases where impeachment results in conviction, the governor may, by executive order filed with the custodian of state records, suspend collection of fines and forfeitures, grant reprieves not exceeding sixty days and, with the approval of two members of the cabinet, grant full or conditional pardons, restore civil rights, commute punishment, and remit fines and forfeitures for offenses.
  2. In cases of treason the governor may grant reprieves until adjournment of the regular session of the legislature convening next after the conviction, at which session the legislature may grant a pardon or further reprieve; otherwise the sentence shall be executed.
  3. There may Shall be created by law a parole and probation commission with power to supervise persons on probation and to grant paroles or conditional releases to persons under sentences for crime. The qualifications, method of selection and terms, not to exceed six years, of members of the commission shall be prescribed by law.
    1. Parole Criteria
      1. The Commission shall promulgate and implement criteria used to assist in the determination of whether an inmate qualifies for parole or conditional release.
      2. The Commission shall promulgate rules in accordance with public safety and potential economic benefits
    2. Parole Commission Procedures
      1. On or before the 120th day following the imposition of sentence, the COmmission shall interview the inmate to determine a base level understanding of the inmate's situation.
      2. Term-of-Years Sentence
        1. On or before the 30th day following the inmate's completion of 50% of his or her sentence, the Commission shall make an initial determination of the inmate's parole or early release status.
        2. Following the denial of parole or early release for inmates serving a term-of-years sencence, the Commission shall make additional determinations every 3 years.
      3. Life Sentence
        1. For inmates serving a life sentence, the Commission shall make its intial determination once the inmate has served 25 years of his or her sentence.
        2. Following denial of parole or early release for life sentence inmates, the Commission shall make additional determinations every 10 years.
      4. When deciding on the status of an inmate, a three-member panel of the Commission shall convene. The decision to grant parol or early release shall be determined by a majority vote of the panel members The panel shall then determine the terms of the inmate's parole or early release, not to exceed the length of the inmate's prision sentence.
      5. The Commission may implement any other procedures not inconsistent with this provision; including but not limitd to, the process with which the Commission will recieve updated information on the inmate's status.
    3. Intent- THe Commission's decision to grant or deny parole is discretionary, but shall not be arbitrary.
    4. Parole Commission Membership
      1. The Parole Commission shall consist of 6 members, including a chairperson.
      2. The Commissioners shall be appointed by the Governor and serve staggered 3 year terms.
      3. A list of eligible applicants shall be submitted to the Governor by a parole qualifications committee.
      4. The qualifications for membership on the Parole Commission and the method and qualifications for membership on the parole qualifications committee shall be perscribed by general law.
    5. Inaplicable Inmates
      1. This provision shall not apply to any inmate serving a sentence of 1 year or less.
      2. This provision shall not apply to any inmate convicted off violating his or her terms of probation or parole.
    6. Appeal of Parole Decisions
      1. A decision to grant parole by the COmmission is final, and unappealable
      2. A decision to deny parole by the Commission shall be appealable to the Attorney General. The inmate must show cause descirbing why parole should have been granted. If the Attorney General determines that sufficient cause was provided, the Attonrey General shall grant parole and direct the Commission to set forth the terms of the parole.