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Federal Appeals Court Rules in Favor of Trans Students’ Civil Rights, While Florida Still Waits for 11th Circuit Ruling On Issue

By The Baez Law Firm |

In February, another federal appeals court (the Ninth Circuit) ruled that allowing transgender students to use certain restrooms and locker rooms does not violate the rights of other students, citing another victory for civil rights. Those who brought the lawsuit challenged one school’s protection of trans students’ rights to use the bathroom or locker… Read More »

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Law Enforcement Reported Purchasing Cell Phone Location Data Without a Warrant for Immigration Enforcement Purposes

By The Baez Law Firm |

In February, The Wall Street Journal and The Hill reported that federal law enforcement divisions have been purchasing cell phone location data in their border enforcement and immigration efforts, and not just recently, at least since 2017. According to the Journal, this information is then turned over to the Department of Homeland Security, which… Read More »

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The Government Is Using Foreign Intelligence Spying Powers to More Easily Wiretap U.S. Citizens in Regular Criminal Investigations

By The Baez Law Firm |

A fraud prosecution case that is currently underway highlights a disturbing trend that involves the government abusing its flexible surveillance powers – which were provided in order to capture foreign spies in the U.S. – to wiretap regular citizens as part of regular criminal prosecutions – often for fraud – that have nothing to… Read More »

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11th Circuit Weighs Whether To Keep Injunction In Place Allowing Ex-Felons To Vote In Spite Of Owing Financial Debt

By The Baez Law Firm |

The fight for voting rights to be restored to ex-felons pursuant to what the voters of Florida passed via Amendment 4 returned to the courts as the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was recently asked to set aside the temporary injunction placed on legislation passed by Republicans mandating that they pay any fines… Read More »

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New Study Finds That Psychological Tests Used in Criminal Trials May Be “Junk Science”

By The Baez Law Firm |

A new study revealed that unreliable IQ and psychological tests are leading to junk forensic science being used as evidence in criminal trials, and this is ultimately influencing juries and judges to make life-and-death decisions for criminal defendants. Specifically, one-third of psychological tests used in recent court cases were never reviewed in prominent manuals… Read More »

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11th Circuit Finds Florida’s Law Limiting Felons’ Ability to Vote Based On Status of Fines Unconstitutional

By The Baez Law Firm |

In late February, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals held that Florida’s law limiting voting rights for those who have previous convictions simply because they had unpaid fines and fees was unconstitutional because conditioning the right to vote based on someone’s wealth violates the US Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. As… Read More »

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Anti-LGBT Florida School Voucher Scholarship Programs Draws Fire

By The Baez Law Firm |

A recent investigation conducted by the Orlando Sentinel found serious civil rights concerns associated with Florida’s scholarship programs. Also referred to as “school vouchers,” the investigation found that almost $130 million in funding was sent to religious institutions that discriminated against homosexual students; meaning that at least 14 percent of Florida’s 147,000 scholarship students… Read More »

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Florida Approves $2 Million in Compensation for Man Wrongfully Convicted of Crime in 1976

By The Baez Law Firm |

In February, the Florida Attorney General’s Office approved a $2 million settlement claim for a man who was wrongfully convicted over 40 years ago. This decision was announced three weeks after the Department of Legal Affairs denied his request for compensation on the grounds that new evidence indicating that someone else could have been… Read More »

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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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