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LEGISLATION AIMS TO STOP GANG CRIME

LEGISLATION AIMS TO STOP GANG CRIME— The Bradenton Herald, http://www.bradenton.com, Jan. 24, 2008].From the Tallahassee Democrat: Gang leaders could face life in prison under one of several proposals aimed at cracking down on Florida’s roughly 65,000 gang members. The proposed legislation, announced Wednesday [Jan. 23], would call for harsher penalties for habitual offenders convicted of gang-related crimes and restrict felons and delinquents from possessing bulletproof vests. It also would strengthen witness tampering laws and add new offenses to racketeering statutes. Sen. Jeffrey Atwater is sponsoring the Senate bill (SB 76) and Rep. William Snyder is pushing the House bill (HB 43). The proposed legislation is based on recent recommendations from a statewide grand jury. Most of the grand jury’s recommendations involve strengthening current law, but one calls for the addition of an assistant state attorney in each of Florida’s 20 judicial districts to focus solely on gang crime.

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