The in-your-face intimidation and aggressive ”pain compliance” techniques that teenager Martin Lee Anderson suffered from boot camp guards before his death were outlawed yesterday by Florida legislators, reports the Miami Herald. Lawmakers voted to rename the facilities and demilitarize them to make them emphasize treatment rather than fear. The Martin Lee Anderson Act bans the use of stun guns, pepper spray, pressure points, mechanical restraints, and psychological intimidation unless a child is a threat to himself or others.
The law seeks to clone Florida’s most successful boot camp, in Martin County, which stresses positive thinking, counseling, and community service. The boot camps have been under scrutiny since Jan. 5, when Martin, 14, died after he was punched, kneed, and manhandled by guards at a Panama City boot camp. Martin’s death is under investigation by Mark Ober, the Tampa state attorney named special prosecutor by Gov. Jeb Bush, as well as the FBI and federal prosecutors in Tallahassee. Ober is awaiting the results of a second autopsy performed on the teen.