FLORIDA—House Bill (“HB”) 387 renames a section of Florida law as “Carl’s Law” in honor of Carl Starke. Starke. Starke was a 36-year-old autistic man from St. Augustine who was shot and killed in 2015 after being targeted by teenagers looking to steal a car from a Wal-Mart parking lot. St. Johns County Sheriff David Shoar said Starke, because of his disability, presented a “soft target” for the suspects.
Carl's Law Drafted
The legislation was drafted by Florida Senator Travis Hutson and Representative Cyndi Stevenson, taking effect on October 1, 2016. “This bill seeks to increase awareness of this type of crime against vulnerable individuals in order to help prevent similar tragedies in the future,” Representative Stevenson said.
The HB 387 doesn’t significantly change Florida law. However, it does increase the civil and criminal penalties for hate crimes committed against adults with mental and physical disabilities. Specifically, “Carl’s Law” refers to “providing for reclassification of offenses committed while evidencing prejudice based on a mental or physical disability of the victim.”
Want More Information?
For more information regarding “Carl’s Law,” as well as other bills filed for the 2016 legislative session, please visit www.myfloridahouse.gov or contact the office of Representative Stevenson.
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HB 387: Offenses Evidencing Prejudice (“Carl’s Law”), The Florida Senate (2016), Bill Text & Bill History available at https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2016/387.
HistoricCity News, Law honoring local resident headed to house floor tomorrow (Feb. 22, 2016), available at https://historiccity.com/2016/staugustine/news/florida/law-honoring-local-resident-headed-to-house-floor-tomorrow-57694.