DeSantis to Pardon Floridians Who Defied COVID Rules, Says He Will Grant Clemency

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In a Wednesday appearance on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle,” Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced that he will pardon and grant clemency to those facing legal battles for breaking mask mandates and social distancing orders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

DeSantis joined Laura Ingraham along with Michael and Jillian Carnevale, who own a gym in Broward County. Last summer, the pair became a target of the Broward County authorities, according to a GoFundMe  for their legal bills. They were both arrested and their business was shut down when they refused to comply with the county’s mask mandate.

Star News Education Foundation Journalism ProjectThey refused a plea bargain, and both were facing the prospect of months in jail, until DeSantis stepped in.

He said:

This is exactly what we ordered against last summer, many, many months ago. And so I was actually just recently briefed on this case, and we looked at it and so I’m glad you had Mike and Jillian on, and I’m also glad to be on to be able to say that effective tomorrow morning I’m going to sign a reprieve under my constitutional authority, so that’ll delay the case for 60 days against both of them. And then when our clemency board meets in the coming weeks, we’ll issue pardons not only for Mike and Jillian, but for any Floridian that may have outstanding infractions for things like masks and social distancing.

DeSantis also noted that the World Health Organization recommends against wearing facial coverings during strenuous exercise.

“The fact is, it’s not even right to be wearing masks when you’re exercising. The World Health Organization advises against it. It’s not healthy for people to be doing that in the first place. So it was a bad restriction. But these things with health should be advisory; they should not be punitive. And so we’re happy to use our constitutional authority. I think they’ve been treated poorly and fortunately they’ve got a governor that cares.”

WATCH:

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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Florida Capital Star and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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