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‘Judicial accountability’ bills filed in House, Senate

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Sen. Audrey Gibson and Rep. Kionne McGhee, two Florida Democrats, announced Monday they filed “judicial accountability” bills in both chambers.

Each proposal calls for sentencing data to be compiled annually, according to a news release.

(The bills, filed this morning, have not appeared public database; when they do, more detail will be forthcoming.)

Once compiled, data will be “presented to trial and sentencing judges, the Legislature, Governor, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and posted for the public on Florida Legislature’s research arm, the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability website,” according to a news release.

Sen. Gibson said: “Faced with the reality that even using a point-scoring system and other factors added to our criminal justice system, to get control over sentencing disparities, the components still are not working.

“It is imperative that we find a better solution to a continuing grave situation, particularly for people of color,” she added.

Rep. McGhee said the bill “seeks to analyze and address judicial patterns in sentencing.”

“Bias on the bench perpetuates inequality in the courtroom,” McGhee noted.

Updated Tuesday: McGhee’s bill is now here. Gibson’s bill is here.

A.G. Gancarski has written a weekly column for Jacksonville’s Folio Weekly since 2003. His writings on politics, culture, and sport have appeared in the Washington Times, the Daily Caller, and the American Conservative. His radio and TV appearances include frequent contributions to WJCT-FM (Jacksonville’s Public Radio station); additionally, he has been a guest on Huff Post Live and the Savage Nation radio show. Gancarski can be reached at

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