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Florida judge: 20-year sentence for firing gun an injustice

Posted at 1:01 PM, Aug 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-01 13:01:02-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - An appeals court judge criticized Florida's mandatory minimum gun laws while regretfully agreeing a man's 20-year-sentence for firing a gun into the ground must be upheld.

Judge James Wolf on Tuesday called Eric Patrick Wright's case a classic example of how mandatory minimum sentencing laws create injustices.

Court documents show Wright was at his fiancé's Jacksonville home in 2013 when an ex-girlfriend barged in and refused to leave. Wright pulled a gun and fired it into the ground to scare her.

Wright was 24 with no prior criminal record. The trial judge said she didn't want to hand out the 20 year-sentence for the aggravated assault conviction, but was forced to by law. The law changed in 2016 to eliminate aggravated assault from mandatory sentencing, but it was not retroactive.

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