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Gov. Rick Scott says famous FAMU band should remain suspended

4:54 PM, May 3, 2012   |    comments
Robert Champion
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Tallahassee, Florida - Gov. Rick Scott says he's glad the criminal case is moving ahead in the hazing-related death of Florida A&M band member Robert Champion.

Thirteen people are charged in connection with Champion's death aboard a charter bus last November. Eleven people are facing the felony charge of hazing resulting in death, while two others face misdemeanors.

Gov. Scott says he wants to see due process proceed and justice prevail.

"I'm glad this is proceeding. I feel sorry and my prayer goes out to Robert Champion's mother and the entire FAMU community and everybody that knew him and so I look forward to seeing what happens. But one of the great things about our state is we are a state of laws. We're at a 40-year-low in our crime rate so things are headed in the right direction and this is the right process."

The Marching 100 Band is still on suspension as a result of Champion's death. The governor was asked if it's time to restore the band.

"I think that we ought to finish and make sure that there's not going to be anything like this happening again. I don't think we're in that position yet. The band's got a great history but we can't afford to lose another individual like Robert Champion. So I think they ought to continue the process they've been going through with their task force but I don't think it's ready yet."

The eleven suspects charged with felony hazing are facing up to six years in prison.

FAMU has also assembled a task force to investigate the culture of hazing at the school and figure out how to end it.

Dave Heller

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