Federal Ruling on Florida Drug Law
The most recent federal ruling will open up a pandoras box of possibilities for many people convicted of drug offenses! A federal judge has struck down a Florida drug law that convicts suspects of a drug offense even if they are unaware that the controlled substance is illegal.
U.S. District Judge Mary Scriven found the 9-year-old law unconstitutional in a decision Wednesday and called for the re-sentencing of Mackle Shelton, who had faced 18 years in prison.
The ruling could pave the way for drug cases currently in the courts to be thrown out.
“Obviously, we are immediately drafting motions and pursuing this line on behalf of our own clients’ (cases) that are pending, but we can’t do much retroactively since those cases are closed,” said Bob Wesley, public defender for Orange and Osceola counties. “I think it will be a robust line of litigation for all of us who appear in Florida criminal courts.”
Tampa attorney James Felman, who won the landmark case, says the Florida legislature went too far.