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Vigil for criminal justice reform held at Capital

Posted at 6:12 AM, Feb 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-05 06:59:29-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The families or Florida prisoners are calling for change.

They're unhappy with the criminal justice system in the state and are preparing to go before state leaders on Wednesday.

They're supporting two major bills that could cut their loved one's prison time.

In addition, they are asking the legislature to pass Senate Bill 1716 and 1308.

Both bills would resentence or release young adult offenders who qualify based on what crime was committed.

Tears flowed as candles were lit honoring loved ones who are in prison...

"He was eighteen and just finishing high school. He was looking into going in the navy to serve his country," said Lisa Antonini.

Lisa Antonini's son Brian has been in prison for 14 years. He's charged with First Degree Felony murder for what his mom says is a crime he did not commit.

" He was in the wrong place at the wrong time with a friend of his, and another man had intentions of robbing two teenage boys my son and his friend. He produced a gun the gun went off...shot and killed my sons friend," said Antonini.

Antonini says even though he did not commit the crime he was charged because of the Felony Murder Rule.

Unfortunately, she is not alone. Everyone at Tuesday's vigil says they want the Senate to do something to free their loved one.

" Pat needs to come home. 30-years and he has the biggest heart and most love to give," said Stacie Woods.

Senator Jeff Brandes is trying to help people like Brian and Pat get home.

His Senate Bill 1716 and 1308 targets sentence review for inmates who qualify.

1308 and 1716 will open the doors for so many people. It really will It will give them that second chance.

These families candles lit on the steps of the Capital are looking forward to meet with legislators Wednesday to ask for their support.

And all they are asking is for people who can make the change to listen.

Concrete Pillow a group who supports Criminal Justice reform put on tonight's Vigil.

They will be rallying with others on Wednesday right here at the state Capitol.