Governor Ron DeSantis protects Floridians from unscientific and unnecessary COVID-19 mandates by local governments

Formal pardon by Clemency Board prohibits both criminal & civil penalties 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Governor Ron DeSantis expanded upon action taken in May to protect Floridians from local government overreach related to COVID-19 restrictions by proposing a statewide, categorical grant of full pardons of both civil and criminal penalties to individuals or businesses punished for breaking unscientific, unnecessary directives. Former gym owners Mike and Jillian Carnevale are examples of Floridians who have faced criminal penalties, including possible jail time, for not complying with local mask mandates at their former business in Broward County.

“Floridians like Mike and Jillian Carnevale should have never faced criminal charges for not requiring masks in their businesses,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “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.”

To watch the Carnevales’ appearance at today’s clemency hearing, click the video below or click here.

“Florida has created a blueprint and will continue to blaze the path for other states and countries to follow,” said Mike Carnevale. “Governor Ron DeSantis’s data driven leadership has kept Florida’s economy open while saving lives, which we now know to be directly linked through experience. I am overwhelmed with gratitude of the pardoning of these allegations and I am excited for the future of Florida.”

Executive Order 21-132 grants a full pardon for all non-violent offenses related to local government COVID-19 restrictions. Executive Order 21-133 again remits all fines related to local government COVID-19 restrictions. Governor DeSantis has consistently championed freedom and prevented local government intrusion:

September 25, 2020: Believing all Floridians have the right to earn a living, Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-244, opening all Florida businesses regardless of local restrictions and suspending the collection of local fines and penalties associated with COVID-19 regulations upon individuals.

March 10, 2021: Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order 21-65 to cancel fines imposed by local government mandates on businesses or individuals due to the pandemic.

May 3, 2021: In order to mitigate the adverse and unintended consequences of the pandemic and to accelerate Florida’s recovery, all remaining local COVID-19 restrictions and mandates on individuals and businesses were suspended when Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order 21-102. The order has been permanently codified into law through Senate Bill 2006, which will go into effect on July 1st.

May 13, 2021: Governor DeSantis utilized his constitutional clemency powers to issue a 60-day reprieve for Floridians and Florida businesses that have been or could be arrested for, charged with, found guilty of, or convicted of a non-violent offense related to COVID-19 restrictions imposed by local governments. Today, that reprieve becomes a full pardon.

These actions are essential to ensure that Florida experiences a rapid restoration and recovery from the COVID-19 emergency, that systems of justice are fair everywhere in our state, and that Floridians are free from burdensome and unscientific local regulations.