Great article- I just want to add that the state of Florida offers specific sentencing guidelines for felony offenses.
For third degree felonies the maximum sentence is five years, while those that are convicted of second degree felonies can serve up to fifteen years in prison. First degree felonies offer up to thirty years in jail.
Florida also has a 10-20-Life law that offers mandatory sentences for those found guilty of a using a hand gun during a commission of a crime.
The first offense like its name indicates offers a mandatory sentence of 10 years, and the second offense offers a mandatory sentence of twenty years. If there is a third offense the mandatory sentence would be life in prison if the assailant is found guilty.
The 10-20-Life law was put on the books to deter violent crimes because too many people were being hurt with hand guns. While the incidence of crime has not entirely been eliminated, the use of hand guns has diminished considerably and so has the incidences of violent crime.