Today Governor Scott vetoed SB 1420, a bill regarding mental health treatment.
Florida’s First Judicial Circuit State Attorney Bill Eddins, President of the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association, said “Governor Scott did the right thing in vetoing SB 1420. While some elements of the bill were worthy, reducing the time before charges against individuals deemed incompetent are dropped offends the rights of those who have been victims of crimes.”
The veto letter is below and available in a PDF here.
June 12, 2013
Secretary Kenneth W. Detzner
Secretary of State
Florida Department of State
R.A. Gray Building
500 South Bronough Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
Dear Secretary Detzner:
By the authority vested in me as Governor of the State of Florida, under the provisions of Article III, Section 8, of the Constitution of Florida, I do hereby veto and transmit my objections to Committee Substitute for Senate Bill 1420, enacted during the 115th Session of the Legislature of Florida during the Regular Session of 2013 and entitled:
An act relating to mental health treatment. . .
This bill shortens the timeframe, from five to three years, for criminal charges to be dismissed against certain defendants determined by a court to be incompetent to proceed to trial. While the bill maintains the current five-year requirement for defendants charged with most violent crimes, it does not maintain this requirement for attempted violent crimes or other serious crimes. The additional time provides an opportunity for the defendant to regain competency under state supervision in order to stand trial. Dismissal of criminal charges for individuals deemed incompetent after only three years who have been charged with attempting to commit violent crimes, could pose a serious public safety risk.
For the reasons stated above, I withhold my approval of Committee Substitute for Senate Bill 1420, and do hereby veto same.