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Florida Lawmakers Propose Taking a New Look at Drug Crime Sentencing & Compensating More Individuals Who Are Wrongfully Convicted

By The Baez Law Firm |

In January, Florida made headway on important criminal justice legislation that would reduce the number of individuals convicted of low-level drug crimes and expand the ability for those wrongfully convicted to apply to receive compensation from the state. Below, we discuss how these measures would affect criminal defense cases and the rights of those… Read More »

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Florida Supreme Court Rules That Previous Decision Mandating Unanimous Jury for Death Penalty Was Wrong

By The Baez Law Firm |

A Florida Supreme Court ruling in late January finding that the Court erred in 2016 when it ruled that a jury must be unanimous in sentencing a defendant to death has now placed a number of death penalty cases in legal limbo. Specifically, the majority opinion said that the state Constitution’s prohibition on cruel… Read More »

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The Use of Forensic Genealogy to Solve Cold Cases Is On the Rise with Law Enforcement, But Is It Reliable and Legal?

By The Baez Law Firm |

Law enforcement is increasingly relying on the field of forensic genealogy to help solve cold cases. The method involves combining DNA testing with family histories to solve cases that have not only gone unsolved for decades, but potentially related cases linked to the same suspects as well. Police are increasingly excited about and relying… Read More »

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Women Incarcerated for Self-Defense

By The Baez Law Firm |

According to studies, it is estimated that approximately 77 percent of female criminal defendants are abuse victims, meaning that women are being sent to prison in droves for simply acting in self-defense. Take, for example, LeToya Ramseure, who fatally shot her ex-boyfriend in self-defense, but faced criminal charges as a result and, because she… Read More »

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U.S. Supreme Court to Hear “Bridgegate” Case & Decide If Those Involved Committed Fraud

By The Baez Law Firm |

In January, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the “Bridgegate” case involving government officials reallocating lanes on the George Washington Bridge connecting New York with New Jersey as a form of political retaliation, punishing the mayor of Fort Lee for failing to endorse then New Jersey governor Chris Christie’s campaign. According to one such… Read More »

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“Jailed for Bad Science”

By The Baez Law Firm |

According to some statistics, in more than 40 percent of cases that have proven to be wrongly adjudicated, where people were convicted of serious crime such as murder or rape, false or misleading forensic science was a major factor in the wrongful conviction. And that is just based on one study: The Department of… Read More »

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Addressing Juror Bias

By The Baez Law Firm |

The upcoming trial of Harvey Weinstein highlights just how difficult it can become to find jurors relatively unfamiliar with the allegations against the defendant in some cases. Attorneys are generally limited to asking jurors questions about what they have heard about a defendant, as well as their own personal experiences with whatever crimes are… Read More »

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Criminal Justice Reform Advancing Again in Florida, But Slowly

By The Baez Law Firm |

In January, Florida lawmakers initiated a number of criminal justice reform bills aimed at reducing Florida’s prison population. One of those bills would specifically reduce drug sentencing laws and is close to passing the Florida Senate. Still, a number of these same lawmakers are pointing out that our prisons are full of very “violent,… Read More »

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Case Against Robert Kraft Continues to Highlight Battle Involving Police Use of Secret Cameras Versus Individual Privacy Rights

By The Baez Law Firm |

The previous trial involving sex crime charges against Robert Kraft an others in connect with massage parlors led to the judge throwing out video surveillance that police had gathered because police failed to obtain a lawful warrant (known as a “sneak-and-peak”) to only specifically gather evidence of illegal activity. According to reports, surveillance cameras… Read More »

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U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Cases On Whether Religious Employers Are Exempt from Civil Rights Laws

By The Baez Law Firm |

The U.S. Supreme Court will soon hear two new cases involving the question of whether religious employers are exempt from certain civil rights laws; i.e. if they can engage in blatant discrimination and violate employment laws, for example, while claiming that they are protected in engaging in those activities by the First Amendment. The… Read More »

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A Close Look at ‘Rapid DNA,’ An Extremely Fast Way to Test DNA Evidence at Crime Scenes That Has Some Concerned

By The Baez Law Firm |

A new, rapid DNA analysis method that some states are testing out in order to more quickly process rape kits has a number of criminal defense and civil rights advocates concerned. The new device—known as a “rapid DNA” instrument—is marketed as allowing law enforcement to identify suspected rapists and others suspected of committing crimes… Read More »

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Concerns Over Florida’s Red Flag Laws Have Gone Beyond Constitutional Violations & Into Potential Self-Incrimination in Criminal Cases

By The Baez Law Firm |

Florida’s red flag law – passed after the Parkland school shooting and designed to allow authorities to take away an individual’s guns for a year if they are deemed to be a threat to themselves or others – has captured news headlines of late as the state begins to obtain its first convictions against… Read More »

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Does The Conviction of Michelle Carter Open the Door to Prosecuting Anyone Who Openly Supports Euthanasia?

By The Baez Law Firm |

The trial of Michelle Carter garnered news headlines and even prompted the production of a documentary because the minor was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to serve jail time after text messages revealed that she had encouraged her boyfriend Conrad Roy, who had long suffered from depression and had previously tried to commit… Read More »

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First Defendant Convicted for Violating Florida’s ‘Red Flag’ Law

By The Baez Law Firm |

In December, the first conviction under Florida’s ‘red flag’ law occurred, and the defendant could now face up to five years in prison as a result. The law dictates that law enforcement can seize weapons from individuals if they are likely to use them to commit crimes, and was passed in the wake of… Read More »

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What You Must Know If You Are Charged with A Military Crime

By The Baez Law Firm |

Many people likely do not realize that individuals charged with military crimes have the same rights as any other citizen—the right to remain innocent until proven guilty. If you have been accused of a military crime, you not only want to retain a criminal defense attorney who has experience defending service members, but also… Read More »

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December 2019 Florida Marijuana Legalization Update

By The Baez Law Firm |

Florida is moving quickly when it comes to decisions concerning actions already taken by Florida voters to legalize marijuana and related products, while some state authorities find new areas of the law to stifle these efforts, as we describe below: Edibles In December, a number of issues involving the legalization of marijuana and related… Read More »

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Too Many People Languish in Florida Prisons Due to Outdated Mandatory Minimum Sentencing for Drug Crimes

By The Baez Law Firm |

There are at least hundreds of – if not more than 1,000 – Florida inmates who are currently serving mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes that are no longer technically legal under the law. For example, someone sentenced in 2016 for the exact same crime committed by someone else who was sentenced in 2011… Read More »

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The Increasing Discrepancies Between Resources Available to Public Defenders & Prosecutors Highlights Severe Injustice

By The Baez Law Firm |

The New York Times recently ran an important piece on the fact that public defenders frequently lack access to gadgets and software that make all the difference in terms of keeping their clients out of jail. In the criminal justice system, citizens who are accused of crimes are supposed to have an advantage because… Read More »

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House Passes Bill to Make Animal Cruelty a Federal Crime

By The Baez Law Firm |

The crime of animal cruelty has largely been defined based on state law and what the state deems constitutes this crime. For example, Florida law dictates that anyone who deprives an animal of sustenance of shelter, kills, mutilates, overdrives, overloads, torments, or causes this to be done to an animal commits animal cruelty, which… Read More »

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Products Liability & Wrongful Death Claims Continue to Expand Against E-Cigarette Maker Juul

By The Baez Law Firm |

In late November, troubles continued for e-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc. – already the subject of numerous product liability and wrongful death claims – when a Florida judge ordered the co-founder of the company to answer questions under oath in a case brought against cigarette-maker Philip Morris USA, which is being sued by the… Read More »

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U.S. Supreme Court Denies Adnan Syed’s Appeal

By The Baez Law Firm |

We have previously reported on the case of Adnan Syed, the subject of the popular podcast “Serial,” whose attorneys petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to review his case. The request was an important one, as the decision by the appeals court to deny him a new trial not only uproots well-established, uniform legal precedent… Read More »

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Florida Judge Issues First Warrant for Consumer DNA Website, Potentially Opening All DNA Information to Law Enforcement Everywhere

By The Baez Law Firm |

A decision by a Florida judge in the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court that recently came to light has turned the tables on to what extent police can rely on genetic databases in criminal investigations. Specifically, the judge reportedly provided law enforcement with a warrant that would allow them to override the privacy settings of… Read More »

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Amtrak Hits Vehicle in Florida & Kills Family Inside

By The Baez Law Firm |

In late November, a woman and her two children were struck and killed by an Amtrak passenger train here in Florida, which was traveling from Miami to New York City. All three victims were in the vehicle and died upon impact. According to reports, the victims were going camping when the car was struck… Read More »

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Congress Takes Steps to Decriminalize Marijuana at Federal Level: What is the Status in Florida?

By The Baez Law Firm |

We’ve previously discussed efforts in Florida to decriminalize the possession of marijuana. While this could someday completely alter state prosecution of marijuana-related crimes, without decriminalization also occurring at the federal level, there is always the threat of federal prosecution for marijuana-related crimes. However, in mid-November, reports announced that a federal congressional committee plans to… Read More »

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Testing of Backlogged Rape Kits in Florida Leads to New Suspects Being Arrested Nearly 30 Years Later: Why This Is Problematic

By The Baez Law Firm |

Florida has recently begun testing thousands of rape kits that have been in storage for almost 30 years, leading to the arrest of a number of suspects accused of sexual battery and other sex crimes. The process usually involves the initial tests providing investigators with a name, which investigators then use to search the… Read More »

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