Florida's tough "10-20-Life" law could mean a life sentence even without a murder conviction

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A first-degree murder conviction isn't necessary for an effective life sentence for Michael Dunn, because of Florida's tough "10, 20, Life" sentencing law.

That law applies a sentence of 10 years for employing a gun in the commission of a crime, 20 years for firing the gun in the commission of a crime, and 25 to life for injuring or killing someone with a gun.

Even if the jury fails to convict on a first or second degree murder charge in the November 2012 death of Jordan Davis, it's possible jurors could find Dunn guilty of three charges of attempted murder -- one for each surviving teen. Dunn has admitted firing at the vehicle as it left the Gate gas station, and surveillance tapes capture a few-second delay before the final volley of shots were fired. If the jury believes those shots were not fired in self defense, Dunn could be convicted of three attempted murder charges -- each a gun crime, with a minimum sentence of 20 years. Unless those sentences were served concurrently -- something court watchers familiar with Judge Russell Healey's tough reputation believe is unlikely -- Dunn would be facing a 60-year minimum prison sentence.

Around the courthouses, as deliberations push into the third day, there has been some discussion of a hung jury. If that were to occur, the judge would reset the trial according to his calendar, in a matter of weeks or months. But both the parents of Jordan Davis and Dunn's attorney Cory Strolla have said they believe the jury is merely being taking its time discussing the evidence. As deliberations push into the 15th hour, nobody could argue this jury has not been thorough.

You can watch live coverage of the verdict on First Coast News, at firstcoastnews.com and on twitter @FCN2go.


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment