Veteran Gets 25 Years For Using A Gun To Defend Himself

A Florida veteran is serving his 25 year prison sentence for using a firearm to defend himself.   Michael Giles was stationed at the Mac Dill Air Force Base after serving two tours overseas. After spending a night out with friends in Tallahassee, a fight broke out outside a bar. Giles claims a man came up behind him and sucker punched him. His training kicked in and he fired two shots. The shots grazed his attacker’s leg. Giles was arrested.

His mother thought this would be quick and painless. Her son did use a gun in self-defense. His mother thought wrong. Under Florida’s 10-20-life law, Michael got the minimum 25-year mandatory sentence for hurting someone with a gun.

Phyllis Giles, Michael’s mother, has been fighting the ridiculous charge since 2010. Her petition on has received over 130,000 signatures. The local media’s story on Giles has been watched over 50,000 times in the past 48 hours. People are outraged over the veteran’s ridiculous sentence. People are calling for Governor Rick Scott and the Clemency Board to commute Michael’s sentence.

“Put it on the agenda at a Clemency Board hearing. Take all of the information and decide whether the sentence is appropriate or not. Unfortunately, they’re the only people that can do that.” – Greg Newburn

It’s an unnecessarily harsh sentence. It’s a heartbreaking sentence and it can be fixed, it could be fixed tomorrow.” – Greg Newburn (Families Against Mandatory Minimums)

The non-profit argues judges should have the discretion to ensure the punishment fits the crime. Last year, they got aggravated assault off the list, basically firing a warning shot without hitting someone. But the change isn’t retroactive for people already sentenced.

Where’s #blacklivesmatter

Where is the almighty #blacklivesmatter? Here we have an African-American veteran who has obviously been victimized by the American legal system, yet nothing from #blacklivesmatter? Why is that? Do they hate veterans? Two were just arrested for trying to blow up a military base, so it wouldn’t surprise me.

What do you think?

Should Governor Rick Scott Reduce Michael Giles' Sentence?

Source: CBS 10 News
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