11
Approve this.

Open Letter to the FWC

UPDATE 8/2/17: The FWC has responded to our Facebook post with this message:

Hi WTF Florida and other citizens: We appreciate and understand your concern for our state’s precious natural resources. We’ve been inundated with comments and messages and we want to thank you for your patience as we continue to respond to public inquiries. The agency continues to take this matter very seriously as the lack of respect displayed for our natural resources is disheartening and disturbing. The investigation of the shark dragging incident is active and our officers are working diligently to reach a lawful resolution in this case. While the investigation is ongoing, we will not be providing additional details about the status. We thank you for your commitment to our state’s fish and wildlife and will kep the pubic informed as the investigation continues. Here is a statement from FWC Chairman Brian Yablonski:

“I, my fellow Commissioners, and the men and women of the FWC, who are dedicated to conserving Florida’s precious natural resources for future generations, could not agree more with Governor Scott’s powerful words. Each and every member of our agency is disgusted by the behavior shown in the video. FWC Division of Law Enforcement investigators are working diligently to come to a lawful resolution in this case. Florida is a sportsman’s destination and there is no place in Florida for these kinds of callous acts. We are eager to move forward with the Governor’s suggestion to review and strengthen regulations as necessary to help deter this type of behavior in the future. These individuals do not represent the sentiments and conscientious actions of millions of conservation-minded anglers around the world.”

-Chairman Brian Yablonski, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

UPDATE 8/1/17: We spoke to the public information officer about this, and he assured us that FWC staff is just as disgusted by this video as the public, and that they are still gathering evidence.

Let’s have some faith and consider the FWC our ally in this ordeal. Please send any evidence you may have to [email protected]

Please don’t blow up their phones or send them constant emails… that will only impede the investigation and waste everyone’s time. As a self-appointed public watchdog over this matter, we will shift focus to whatever needs to be done to seek justice. At this point, we are standing by the FWC in their efforts to gather evidence and eventually indict these men. We understand how frustrating the wait is, but we must remember that the law moves at a snail’s pace, while the internet moves at light speed. You may email us at [email protected] if you have any comments or questions that could help our cause.

Original WTF Florida open letter:

We posted this to the FWC Facebook page.

The letter reads:

Dear FWC,
We have nearly 50,000 signatures and rising, all from people demanding these perpetrators pay for their crimes. The public is growing increasingly uneasy, and we deserve a more concrete understanding of what’s going on. Law is slow, yes, but please answer us… Do you truly intend to press charges? If not, is that because of political or financial pressure? We believe that the folks working at the FWC are disgusted by this video as much as we are. Please let us know what’s holding you back from indicting these men and revoking their fishing licenses. We hope to work together to let people know that our Florida natural resources and wildlife will not be abused.

Florida Law:

In case you don’t believe it’s really a crime, these are copied directly from Florida Statutes… we have highlighted some of the more relevant parts:

828.02 Definitions.—

In this chapter, and in every law of the state relating to or in any way affecting animals, the word “animal” shall be held to include every living dumb creature; the words “torture,” “torment,” and “cruelty” shall be held to include every act, omission, or neglect whereby unnecessary or unjustifiable pain or suffering is caused, except when done in the interest of medical science, permitted, or allowed to continue when there is reasonable remedy or relief; and the words “owner” and “person” shall be held to include corporations, and the knowledge and acts of agents and employees of corporations in regard to animals transported, owned, employed by or in the custody of a corporation, shall be held to be the knowledge and act of such corporation.

828.12 Cruelty to animals.—

(1) A person who unnecessarily overloads, overdrives, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance or shelter, or unnecessarily mutilates, or kills any animal, or causes the same to be done, or carries in or upon any vehicle, or otherwise, any animal in a cruel or inhumane manner, commits animal cruelty, a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or by a fine of not more than $5,000, or both.
(2) A person who intentionally commits an act to any animal, or a person who owns or has the custody or control of any animal and fails to act, which results in the cruel death, or excessive or repeated infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering, or causes the same to be done, commits aggravated animal cruelty, a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or by a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.
(a) A person convicted of a violation of this subsection, where the finder of fact determines that the violation includes the knowing and intentional torture or torment of an animal that injures, mutilates, or kills the animal, shall be ordered to pay a minimum mandatory fine of $2,500 and undergo psychological counseling or complete an anger management treatment program.
(b) A person convicted of a second or subsequent violation of this subsection shall be required to pay a minimum mandatory fine of $5,000 and serve a minimum mandatory period of incarceration of 6 months. In addition, the person shall be released only upon expiration of sentence, is not eligible for parole, control release, or any form of early release, and must serve 100 percent of the court-imposed sentence. Any plea of nolo contendere shall be considered a conviction for purposes of this subsection.
(3) A person who commits multiple acts of animal cruelty or aggravated animal cruelty against an animal may be charged with a separate offense for each such act. A person who commits animal cruelty or aggravated animal cruelty against more than one animal may be charged with a separate offense for each animal such cruelty was committed upon.

Chapter 775 
DEFINITIONS; GENERAL PENALTIES; REGISTRATION OF CRIMINALS

775.082 Penalties; applicability of sentencing structures; mandatory minimum sentences for certain reoffenders previously released from prison.—
(1)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), a person who has been convicted of a capital felony shall be punished by death if the proceeding held to determine sentence according to the procedure set forth in s. 921.141 results in a determination that such person shall be punished by death, otherwise such person shall be punished by life imprisonment and shall be ineligible for parole.
(b)1. A person who actually killed, intended to kill, or attempted to kill the victim and who is convicted under s. 782.04 of a capital felony, or an offense that was reclassified as a capital felony, which was committed before the person attained 18 years of age shall be punished by a term of imprisonment for life if, after a sentencing hearing conducted by the court in accordance with s. 921.1401, the court finds that life imprisonment is an appropriate sentence. If the court finds that life imprisonment is not an appropriate sentence, such person shall be punished by a term of imprisonment of at least 40 years. A person sentenced pursuant to this subparagraph is entitled to a review of his or her sentence in accordance with s. 921.1402(2)(a).
2. A person who did not actually kill, intend to kill, or attempt to kill the victim and who is convicted under s. 782.04 of a capital felony, or an offense that was reclassified as a capital felony, which was committed before the person attained 18 years of age may be punished by a term of imprisonment for life or by a term of years equal to life if, after a sentencing hearing conducted by the court in accordance with s. 921.1401, the court finds that life imprisonment is an appropriate sentence. A person who is sentenced to a term of imprisonment of more than 15 years is entitled to a review of his or her sentence in accordance with s. 921.1402(2)(c).
3. The court shall make a written finding as to whether a person is eligible for a sentence review hearing under s. 921.1402(2)(a) or (c). Such a finding shall be based upon whether the person actually killed, intended to kill, or attempted to kill the victim. The court may find that multiple defendants killed, intended to kill, or attempted to kill the victim.
(2) In the event the death penalty in a capital felony is held to be unconstitutional by the Florida Supreme Court or the United States Supreme Court, the court having jurisdiction over a person previously sentenced to death for a capital felony shall cause such person to be brought before the court, and the court shall sentence such person to life imprisonment as provided in subsection (1). No sentence of death shall be reduced as a result of a determination that a method of execution is held to be unconstitutional under the State Constitution or the Constitution of the United States.
(3) A person who has been convicted of any other designated felony may be punished as follows:
(a)1. For a life felony committed before October 1, 1983, by a term of imprisonment for life or for a term of at least 30 years.
2. For a life felony committed on or after October 1, 1983, by a term of imprisonment for life or by a term of imprisonment not exceeding 40 years.
3. Except as provided in subparagraph 4., for a life felony committed on or after July 1, 1995, by a term of imprisonment for life or by imprisonment for a term of years not exceeding life imprisonment.
4.a. Except as provided in sub-subparagraph b., for a life felony committed on or after September 1, 2005, which is a violation of s. 800.04(5)(b), by:
(I) A term of imprisonment for life; or
(II) A split sentence that is a term of at least 25 years’ imprisonment and not exceeding life imprisonment, followed by probation or community control for the remainder of the person’s natural life, as provided in s. 948.012(4).
b. For a life felony committed on or after July 1, 2008, which is a person’s second or subsequent violation of s. 800.04(5)(b), by a term of imprisonment for life.
5. Notwithstanding subparagraphs 1.-4., a person who is convicted under s. 782.04 of an offense that was reclassified as a life felony which was committed before the person attained 18 years of age may be punished by a term of imprisonment for life or by a term of years equal to life imprisonment if the judge conducts a sentencing hearing in accordance with s. 921.1401 and finds that life imprisonment or a term of years equal to life imprisonment is an appropriate sentence.
a. A person who actually killed, intended to kill, or attempted to kill the victim and is sentenced to a term of imprisonment of more than 25 years is entitled to a review of his or her sentence in accordance with s. 921.1402(2)(b).
b. A person who did not actually kill, intend to kill, or attempt to kill the victim and is sentenced to a term of imprisonment of more than 15 years is entitled to a review of his or her sentence in accordance with s. 921.1402(2)(c).
c. The court shall make a written finding as to whether a person is eligible for a sentence review hearing under s. 921.1402(2)(b) or (c). Such a finding shall be based upon whether the person actually killed, intended to kill, or attempted to kill the victim. The court may find that multiple defendants killed, intended to kill, or attempted to kill the victim.
6. For a life felony committed on or after October 1, 2014, which is a violation of s. 787.06(3)(g), by a term of imprisonment for life.
(b)1. For a felony of the first degree, by a term of imprisonment not exceeding 30 years or, when specifically provided by statute, by imprisonment for a term of years not exceeding life imprisonment.
2. Notwithstanding subparagraph 1., a person convicted under s. 782.04 of a first degree felony punishable by a term of years not exceeding life imprisonment, or an offense that was reclassified as a first degree felony punishable by a term of years not exceeding life, which was committed before the person attained 18 years of age may be punished by a term of years equal to life imprisonment if the judge conducts a sentencing hearing in accordance with s. 921.1401 and finds that a term of years equal to life imprisonment is an appropriate sentence.
a. A person who actually killed, intended to kill, or attempted to kill the victim and is sentenced to a term of imprisonment of more than 25 years is entitled to a review of his or her sentence in accordance with s. 921.1402(2)(b).
b. A person who did not actually kill, intend to kill, or attempt to kill the victim and is sentenced to a term of imprisonment of more than 15 years is entitled to a review of his or her sentence in accordance with s. 921.1402(2)(c).
c. The court shall make a written finding as to whether a person is eligible for a sentence review hearing under s. 921.1402(2)(b) or (c). Such a finding shall be based upon whether the person actually killed, intended to kill, or attempted to kill the victim. The court may find that multiple defendants killed, intended to kill, or attempted to kill the victim.
(c) Notwithstanding paragraphs (a) and (b), a person convicted of an offense that is not included in s. 782.04 but that is an offense that is a life felony or is punishable by a term of imprisonment for life or by a term of years not exceeding life imprisonment, or an offense that was reclassified as a life felony or an offense punishable by a term of imprisonment for life or by a term of years not exceeding life imprisonment, which was committed before the person attained 18 years of age may be punished by a term of imprisonment for life or a term of years equal to life imprisonment if the judge conducts a sentencing hearing in accordance with s. 921.1401 and finds that life imprisonment or a term of years equal to life imprisonment is an appropriate sentence. A person who is sentenced to a term of imprisonment of more than 20 years is entitled to a review of his or her sentence in accordance with s. 921.1402(2)(d).
(d) For a felony of the second degree, by a term of imprisonment not exceeding 15 years.
(e) For a felony of the third degree, by a term of imprisonment not exceeding 5 years.
(4) A person who has been convicted of a designated misdemeanor may be sentenced as follows:
(a) For a misdemeanor of the first degree, by a definite term of imprisonment not exceeding 1 year;
(b) For a misdemeanor of the second degree, by a definite term of imprisonment not exceeding 60 days.
(5) Any person who has been convicted of a noncriminal violation may not be sentenced to a term of imprisonment nor to any other punishment more severe than a fine, forfeiture, or other civil penalty, except as provided in chapter 316 or by ordinance of any city or county.
(6) Nothing in this section shall be construed to alter the operation of any statute of this state authorizing a trial court, in its discretion, to impose a sentence of imprisonment for an indeterminate period within minimum and maximum limits as provided by law, except as provided in subsection (1).
(7) This section does not deprive the court of any authority conferred by law to decree a forfeiture of property, suspend or cancel a license, remove a person from office, or impose any other civil penalty. Such a judgment or order may be included in the sentence.
(8)(a) The sentencing guidelines that were effective October 1, 1983, and any revisions thereto, apply to all felonies, except capital felonies, committed on or after October 1, 1983, and before January 1, 1994, and to all felonies, except capital felonies and life felonies, committed before October 1, 1983, when the defendant affirmatively selects to be sentenced pursuant to such provisions.
(b) The 1994 sentencing guidelines, that were effective January 1, 1994, and any revisions thereto, apply to all felonies, except capital felonies, committed on or after January 1, 1994, and before October 1, 1995.
(c) The 1995 sentencing guidelines that were effective October 1, 1995, and any revisions thereto, apply to all felonies, except capital felonies, committed on or after October 1, 1995, and before October 1, 1998.
(d) The Criminal Punishment Code applies to all felonies, except capital felonies, committed on or after October 1, 1998. Any revision to the Criminal Punishment Code applies to sentencing for all felonies, except capital felonies, committed on or after the effective date of the revision.
(e) Felonies, except capital felonies, with continuing dates of enterprise shall be sentenced under the sentencing guidelines or the Criminal Punishment Code in effect on the beginning date of the criminal activity.
(9)(a)1. “Prison releasee reoffender” means any defendant who commits, or attempts to commit:
a. Treason;
b. Murder;
c. Manslaughter;
d. Sexual battery;
e. Carjacking;
f. Home-invasion robbery;
g. Robbery;
h. Arson;
i. Kidnapping;
j. Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon;
k. Aggravated battery;
l. Aggravated stalking;
m. Aircraft piracy;
n. Unlawful throwing, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb;
o. Any felony that involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against an individual;
p. Armed burglary;
q. Burglary of a dwelling or burglary of an occupied structure; or
r. Any felony violation of s. 790.07, s. 800.04, s. 827.03, s. 827.071, or s. 847.0135(5);
within 3 years after being released from a state correctional facility operated by the Department of Corrections or a private vendor or within 3 years after being released from a correctional institution of another state, the District of Columbia, the United States, any possession or territory of the United States, or any foreign jurisdiction, following incarceration for an offense for which the sentence is punishable by more than 1 year in this state.
2. “Prison releasee reoffender” also means any defendant who commits or attempts to commit any offense listed in sub-subparagraphs (a)1.a.-r. while the defendant was serving a prison sentence or on escape status from a state correctional facility operated by the Department of Corrections or a private vendor or while the defendant was on escape status from a correctional institution of another state, the District of Columbia, the United States, any possession or territory of the United States, or any foreign jurisdiction, following incarceration for an offense for which the sentence is punishable by more than 1 year in this state.
3. If the state attorney determines that a defendant is a prison releasee reoffender as defined in subparagraph 1., the state attorney may seek to have the court sentence the defendant as a prison releasee reoffender. Upon proof from the state attorney that establishes by a preponderance of the evidence that a defendant is a prison releasee reoffender as defined in this section, such defendant is not eligible for sentencing under the sentencing guidelines and must be sentenced as follows:
a. For a felony punishable by life, by a term of imprisonment for life;
b. For a felony of the first degree, by a term of imprisonment of 30 years;
c. For a felony of the second degree, by a term of imprisonment of 15 years; and
d. For a felony of the third degree, by a term of imprisonment of 5 years.
(b) A person sentenced under paragraph (a) shall be released only by expiration of sentence and shall not be eligible for parole, control release, or any form of early release. Any person sentenced under paragraph (a) must serve 100 percent of the court-imposed sentence.
(c) Nothing in this subsection shall prevent a court from imposing a greater sentence of incarceration as authorized by law, pursuant to s. 775.084 or any other provision of law.
(d)1. It is the intent of the Legislature that offenders previously released from prison who meet the criteria in paragraph (a) be punished to the fullest extent of the law and as provided in this subsection, unless the state attorney determines that extenuating circumstances exist which preclude the just prosecution of the offender, including whether the victim recommends that the offender not be sentenced as provided in this subsection.
2. For every case in which the offender meets the criteria in paragraph (a) and does not receive the mandatory minimum prison sentence, the state attorney must explain the sentencing deviation in writing and place such explanation in the case file maintained by the state attorney.
(10) If a defendant is sentenced for an offense committed on or after July 1, 2009, which is a third degree felony but not a forcible felony as defined in s. 776.08, and excluding any third degree felony violation under chapter 810, and if the total sentence points pursuant to s. 921.0024 are 22 points or fewer, the court must sentence the offender to a nonstate prison sanction. However, if the court makes written findings that a nonstate prison sanction could present a danger to the public, the court may sentence the offender to a state correctional facility pursuant to this section.
(11) The purpose of this section is to provide uniform punishment for those crimes made punishable under this section and, to this end, a reference to this section constitutes a general reference under the doctrine of incorporation by reference.
History.—s. 3, ch. 71-136; ss. 1, 2, ch. 72-118; s. 2, ch. 72-724; s. 5, ch. 74-383; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 1, ch. 83-87; s. 1, ch. 94-228; s. 16, ch. 95-184; s. 4, ch. 95-294; s. 2, ch. 97-239; s. 2, ch. 98-3; s. 10, ch. 98-204; s. 2, ch. 99-188; s. 3, ch. 2000-246; s. 1, ch. 2001-239; s. 2, ch. 2002-70; ss. 1, 2, ch. 2002-211; s. 4, ch. 2005-28; s. 13, ch. 2008-172; s. 1, ch. 2008-182; s. 1, ch. 2009-63; s. 2, ch. 2011-200; s. 8, ch. 2014-160; s. 1, ch. 2014-220; s. 1, ch. 2016-13; s. 19, ch. 2016-24; s. 3, ch. 2017-1; s. 21, ch. 2017-37; s. 11, ch. 2017-107.

0 0 vote
Article Rating

Open Letter to the FWC

Category: Information
1 Florida Tags: 11 FloridApprovals (You haven't voted yet) VOTE NOW11 Total Florida Points
Comments are closed for this article.
1 Comment
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
trackback

[…] video are still evading charges. The FWC has failed to indict them, and has not responded to our open letter asking why. Meanwhile, as our petition grows online, the awesome people of Sarasota showed support […]