The Ticktin Law Group has officially urged Gov. Ron DeSantis to show clemency to a non-violent offender who has only seven months left to serve on a 15-year sentence while living in mortal fear of contracting COVID-19 from other prisoners.
Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Mark Inch was reported to be facing the highly infectious disease himself.
On behalf of the prisoner and author William Hawley, the law firm filed a writ of mandamus requesting the governor and The Florida Office of Executive Clemency to grant a commutation of sentence to release him a few months early so he won’t catch the virus becoming rampant among prison populations nationwide.
The writ filed in the Second Judicial Circuit in Leon County affirms Hawley is in constant fear for his life as prisoners around him fall ill.
It cites Hawley as a model prisoner who throughout the course of serving this sentence has assisted Federal and State Government agencies on serious investigations and prosecutions of highly violent crimes.
Hawley wrote Dursturbed, a book about alleged serial killer, multimillionaire Robert Durst, soon to go on trial for murder in California and Hawley believes his book could shed light on Durst’s depravity.
A model inmate, he regularly consults his Warden on prison and inmate safety and is taking classes at a top university.
The writ seeks to compel Gov. DeSantis to resume holding hearings regarding requests for commutation of sentences or clemency or show why these hearings are not going forward when the pandemic puts many prisoners in jeopardy.
Petitioner Hawley is a Florida resident serving a Florida Criminal Sentence.
His petition affirms Gov. DeSantis has executive clemency power pursuant to the state constitution and oversees Florida Department of Executive Clemency.
The writ questions why the governor is not acting to release a non-violent offender just a few months early to avoid contracting the killer virus.
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