Crist announces Equal Justice for All policy with Tampa State Attorney Andrew Warren, gun violence prevention activist Maress Scott, and attorney Sean Shaw.
ST. PETERSBURG — Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Congressman Charlie Crist pledged to bring equal justice to Florida’s judicial system as he traveled to communities throughout the state.
“We have to deal with the reality that our system is not fair and just; that our system treats different people differently,” said Orange-Osceola State Attorney Monique Worrell. Worrell joined Crist, Orlando City Commissioner Regina Hill, former gubernatorial candidate Chris King and criminal justice reform advocates in presenting ways to repair a broken court system.
Crist is the leading candidate in the race to unseat Republican Governor Ron DeSantis. He continues to beat DeSantis in public opinion polls because of his record on various public policy issues.
For one, the restoration of civil rights to non-violent felons back in 2007 when he was governor. It was a life-changer for Orlando City Commissioner Regina Hill.
“I was able to turn it around because of Gov. Charlie Crist. [He] automatically restored my rights.”
Crist restored the civil rights of more than 155,000 Floridians. No governor has matched his record. In fact, DeSantis continues to undermine the new restoration constitutional law at every turn. Crist said that when elected, he will restore that process and ease the transition for returning citizens.
Reform advocates and Tampa State Attorney Andrew Warren also support the effort.
“The reality is giving people opportunities doesn’t lead to crime,” said Warren. “We need to begin putting these second-chance stories to the forefront.”
The deadly consequences of gun violence
St. Pete’s Maress Scott is a tireless fighter against gun violence. His son, Marquis Scott, was shot and killed while riding his bicycle to a friend’s house. In the two years since his death, Scott has become an outspoken activist against gun violence, a significant component of Crist’s justice reform plan.
As governor, Crist plans to ban assault rifles and high-capacity magazines, require universal background checks for all firearm purchases, and increase resources for affordable housing, healthcare, education, and jobs to communities impacted by gun violence.
Crist again criticized Florida’s last two governors, Republicans Rick Scott and DeSantis, whose policies have done tremendous harm to communities of color. It is easier for young people and children to get their hands on guns but harder for everyday Floridians to exercise their right to vote — especially Black Floridians.
“For too long, we have focused on incarceration when we should be focusing on rehabilitation, forgiveness and restoring and rebuilding,” Crist said. “My Justice for All plan is a promise to communities across Florida that the Crist Administration will usher in a new era, one where our state will not turn a blind eye to injustices but tackle them head-on.”