Melissa Nelson speaks on new policy that seeks longer sentences for gun-related crimes

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The State Attorney’s Office is now seeking longer sentences for felons involved in gun-related crimes.

Melissa Nelson joined Jacksonville’s Morning News to talk about the new policy and the changes prosecutors will be implementing. She said the SAO did an audit on how they handled cases involving convicted felons when they’re caught with a gun.

“The goal of this is two-fold. This toolkit and these checklists. It’s one, to ensure the uniform that we as an office are handling these cases uniformly and consistently and that offenders know and can expect sure and certain punishment for certain offenses," Nelson said. "So these are this doesn’t strip our lawyers of discretion and they will always still be able to use discretion. And we recognize every case is different and we make decisions every single day on a case by case basis. However, the public should have an expectation that our office will act consistently across the board as it relates to gun violence and that’s what these tools seek to do. As to auditing them, we will continue every six months to look at the efficacy and effectiveness and utilization rate of these tools.”

Nelson does recognize that she doesn’t think that this will lower gun violence in the city, but does know that if someone with a gun is in jail, that person’t can’t hurt or kill someone.

“So how we measure our success will really be threefold. The utilization rate of these tools and then if our outcomes are consistent with the guidance provided in those tools,” Nelson said.

Hannah Lee

Hannah Lee is a General Assignment Reporter for 104.5 WOKV.

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