Florida Governor Pardons Citizens

June 21, 2021

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that all Floridians who were were arrested or fined for violating mask mandates or social distancing requirements will be pardoned.

In a recent press conference Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that all Floridians who are facing fines and other penalties from violating covid-19-related orders – such as mask mandates or social distancing requirements – issued by local governments will be pardoned.

The four-member Board of Executive Clemency approved, in a 3-1 vote, the Florida Governor’s decision to officially pardon citizens who were arrested or fined for violating covid local orders. The pardon applies to civil and criminal penalties handed to individuals or businesses “punished for breaking unscientific, unnecessary directives”. However, it is not clear how many Floridians will be pardoned as a result of the clemency board’s decision.

The decision to pardon citizens who violated local government orders follows an Executive Order issued by the governor on May 3 suspending all local pandemic emergency mandates, and an Executive Order banning vaccine passports.

“This action is necessary”, DeSantis declared, “so that we can recover, have a good transition to normal operations, and also just a recognition that a lot of this stuff was way, way overboard. Today, we took action in Florida to reject the overreach of local authorities through unnecessary and unscientific mask mandates. No business should face economic ruin and be punished for alleged violations of local orders that are unreasonably restrictive of rights and liberties.”

Mike and Jillian Carnevale, former gym owners in Florida, joined the governor for his press conference: the two had multiple run-ins with officials when they refused to force their customers to wear masks while they were working out. The couple had misdemeanor charges against them dropped in May, but DeSantis argued the business owners should have never been punished at all for exercising “common sense.”

“Just understand,” DeSantis stated, “if you’re in good shape, you’re going to handle covid 99.99% of the time. And so, they are telling you to close people’s gyms, have them eat takeout, and watch (TV, Netflix) all day. That’s not good for health. So, one of the best things you can do for covid is to be in good health. Floridians like Mike and Jillian Carnevale should have never faced criminal charges for not requiring mask in their businesses,” the governor said.