Florida Stories

 

Orville Wollard

Orville Lee Wollard

Orville is serving a mandatory 20-year prison sentence under Florida’s 10-20-Life law after firing a bullet into a wall to scare off his daughter’s abusive boyfriend. Orville Lee Wollard typifies what it means to be an American. He has spent his life bettering himself to get ahead – and for his family. After receiving an… Read more »


Ronald Thompson

Ronald Thompson

Ronald, a disabled veteran, was sentenced to a mandatory 20 years in prison under Florida’s 10-20-Life law after he fired warning shots to protect a friend. Ronald Thompson is a 100% disabled veteran who spent 14 years in the Army (1966-1980). After his service, Thompson remained active in veterans’ affairs. In addition to acting as… Read more »


Marla Swearingen

Marla Swearingen

Marla was sentenced to a 20-year mandatory prison term when she fired a warning shot to break up a fight. She appealed her case and ultimately served the remainder of a year in county jail. Compared to many people convicted under Florida’s 10-20-Life law, she was lucky. Marla Swearingen is a 50-year-old mother and grandmother… Read more »


Scott Earle

Scott Earle

A first-time offender, Scott received a 25-year prison sentence for acting as a middleman between a painkiller supplier and an undercover police officer who told Scott she was experiencing back pain. Scott began using painkillers after a sports injury when he was a teenager. After being in several car accidents, his dependence on the medication… Read more »


Marissa Alexander

Marissa Alexander

Marissa was sentenced to a mandatory 20-year prison term under Florida’s 10-20-Life law for firing a warning shot to scare off her abusive husband. Even the law’s author seemed to think the sentence was inappropriate. In 2014, however, her sentence was overturned, and in 2015, Marissa was released after three years of incarceration, receiving two… Read more »


Erik Weyant

Erik Weyant

Threatened in a parking lot by a group of men and fearing a beating or even worse, Erik pulled out his legal handgun and fired shots into the air. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison for aggravated assault with a firearm without intent to kill. Twenty-two-year-old Erik worked long hours renovating homes and… Read more »


Eric Arthur

Eric K. Arthur

Eric was working as a pharmacist when a customer and his wife offered to start paying him hundreds of dollars for each false painkiller prescription he filled. He agreed so he could provide for his relatives in Ghana, and he is now serving a mandatory 25-year sentence for conspiracy to traffic 28 grams or more… Read more »