In response to today’s reports that while meeting as the Executive Clemency Board, Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis questioned Mr. Erwin Jones, an African-American applicant, about how many different women he has fathered children with, State Representative and candidate for Attorney General Sean Shaw issues the following statement:
“It is one thing to try to determine the good moral character of someone applying for clemency but it is a whole other when an elected member of the cabinet asks racially biased questions such as by how many different mothers an applicant has fathered children. If having a child by more than one or even two mothers were the standard, President Trump wouldn’t be eligible for clemency for crimes he may have committed. The CFO should apologize to Mr. Jones and to the African-American community for even considering, lest uttering such a question.”
Raised in North Florida, Representative Sean Shaw was taught the importance of public service from a young age by his father, Leander Shaw, the first African-American Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court. During law school at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, Sean clerked for a United States District Court judge focusing on constitutional law and the protection of civil rights. After law school, Sean worked in private practice representing workers, families, and small businesses during some of their most trying times. As Florida’s Insurance Consumer Advocate, Sean was an insurance industry watchdog protecting consumers against abuses from insurers. He led the process of negotiating lower rates for homeowners, pushed for faster response times from insurers after emergencies, and ensured rates were fair and justified. He currently represents State House District 61 in Tampa, where he has fought for more funding for public education, for criminal justice reforms, and for common sense gun safety legislation to make communities safer.