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“When the Police Become Prosecutors”

By The Baez Law Firm |

The New York Times recently ran an important op-ed highlighting a serious issue in our criminal justice system that many people do not know about. While many voters have realized that prosecutors hold the keys to a fairer criminal justice system, many do not realize the police also wield a significant amount of prosecutorial… Read More »

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Do Florida’s Sex Offender Laws Go Too Far?

By The Baez Law Firm |

According to research reports recently released by the Florida Legislature, the number of sexual offenders and predators in Florida is on the rise. Specifically, according to the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, just since 2005, the number of offenders has gone up by 53 percent. However, looks can be deceiving when… Read More »

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Is Florida Stalling the Restoration of Voting Rights To Ex-Felons?

By The Baez Law Firm |

We’ve previously discussed the importance of restoring ex-felons’ voting rights here in Florida. In November, voters overwhelmingly passed a ballot initiative to restore voting rights to felons who have been deprived of these basic civil rights for decades in one of the last states to automatically eliminate that right without the realistic ability of… Read More »

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Proposed Legislation Claims To Make Lying In Florida Legislature A Crime—Is It Reasonable?

By The Baez Law Firm |

A newly-proposed law in Florida called the “Truth in Government Act” would make it a crime to lie during Florida Legislative hearings. Specifically, it would make it a second or third-degree felony for anyone speaking under oath to “make a false statement” that they “[do] not believe to be true.” The bill threatens imprisonment… Read More »

Marijuana

Circumstances in Florida Rapidly Changing Regarding Legalization of Marijuana

By The Baez Law Firm |

We’ve discussed Florida’s Amendment 2 before, the amendment legalizing medical marijuana. More than 160,000 people across the state qualify to use medical marijuana to treat certain illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Although the amendment went into effect more than two years ago, there were a number of impediments put… Read More »

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Florida Assisted Living Facility Punished After Wrongful Death & Other Atrocities—But Is It Enough?

By The Baez Law Firm |

In mid-January, a South Florida assisted living facility (New Era Community Health Center) was charged with improper care that led to wrongful death as well as serious injury and attempted suicide involving several of the facility’s residents. According to the Agency for Health Care Administration, these tragedies were the result of staff at the… Read More »

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New Legislation Introduced In Florida Would Make Abortions Third-Degree Felony after Heartbeat Detected

By The Baez Law Firm |

A new controversial bill introduced in the Florida Legislature would make abortions a third-degree felony if performed “once a fetal heartbeat is detected,” with exceptions built in for life-threatening situations. In fact, it makes any abortion illegal if a doctor determines that “the unborn human being achieved viability or has a detectable fetal heartbeat…. Read More »

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One Florida Legislator’s Criminal Justice Bill Points to Overarching Crisis in Florida’s Prisons

By The Baez Law Firm |

One Florida legislator—State Sen. Jeff Brandes—has declared Florida’s prison system to be in a “crisis,” even though, in December, Congress passed an overall criminal justice reform bill that reduced mandatory minimum sentencing requirements. Specifically, Brandes advocated for the state changing the threshold for finding that a felony had been committed and providing judges with… Read More »

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New Legislation in Florida Advocating For LGBTQ Rights Draws Controversy & Division

By The Baez Law Firm |

A new bill to amend the Florida Civil Rights Act to include gender identity and sexual orientation–called the “Florida Inclusion Workforce Act”–was filed in the Florida Senate on January 23, and prohibits employers and labor organizations from discriminating against job applicants or employees based on gender identity or sexual orientation. However, the bill isn’t… Read More »

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November 6 Florida Election Results, Part II: Voting Rights & Animal Welfare Laws

By The Baez Law Firm |

In part II of this series, we address some of the legal changes that were made by voters in the November 6, 2018 elections, and how that affects Floridians and their civil rights. Specifically, on November 6, Florida voters approved Amendment 4, which restores voting rights in the state for individuals previously convicted of… Read More »

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November 6 Florida Election Results, Part I: Amendment 6, Rights Of Crime Victims

By The Baez Law Firm |

In this two-part series, we discuss some of the important measures that were passed during the November 6 elections and what this means Floridians’ civil rights. One of those measures was Amendment 6, which creates a bill of rights for crime victims and establishes new requirements for judges. Modeled after California’s Marsy’s Law, the… Read More »

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Wrongful Death at Florida Psychiatric Hospital Leaves Too Many Questions Unanswered

By The Baez Law Firm |

One man’s unexplained death at a Florida psychiatric facility has garnered news headlines of late due to the mysteriousness of the incident and the unwillingness of officials and agencies linked to it to provide both the man’s family and the public with the answers they deserve. The man—Reginald Schroat—is the second known individual to… Read More »

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Did Florida Election Officials Break The Law?

By The Baez Law Firm |

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has requested that law enforcement agencies, including the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, investigate potential fraudulent activity in Broward and Palm Beach counties in his race for the Senate. The Department reportedly initially responded that, while it is not investigating any matters directly related to the November 6 election, it… Read More »

Courtroom

Department Of Education Backtracks On Rolling Back Civil Rights Protections for Students in Schools

By The Baez Law Firm |

During the week of November 21, the Education Department announced that it was reversing a controversial decision on how the federal government handles civil rights complaints filed by students and their families; i.e. that it would no longer be dismissing cases that are filed en masse. This announcement could impact thousands of families, especially… Read More »

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Judicial Committee Releases Important Report on Sixth Amendment Rights in Criminal Cases

By The Baez Law Firm |

Although a very important report on how the federal Criminal Justice Act works was completed in 2017, it was not made public until October of this year, and did not receive media attention due to the news surrounding Justice Kavanaugh’s nomination. The report identifies a number of criminal justice issues, and proposes that there… Read More »

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A Look at Questionable Living Conditions & Constitutional Issues on Florida’s Death Row & National Scale

By The Baez Law Firm |

In November, a number of important news outlets, reports, and decisions were made that expose the unconstitutional conditions in which those given death sentences endure, including a reliance on unconstitutional sentencing procedures and questionable living conditions and practices, as we discuss below: Tampa Bay Times Provides Video Glimpse into Florida Death Row Conditions We’ve… Read More »

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Florida Police Officer Who Framed African Americans Sentenced To Prison

By The Baez Law Firm |

We’ve previously discussed the crimes of ex-Biscayne Park Police Chief Raimundo Atesiano, who was found to have framed innocent black citizens and/or teenagers here in Florida in order to boost his police department’s arrest and conviction statistics. On November 27, Atesiano was sentenced to three years in federal prison for these crimes, which included… Read More »

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Equifax Security Breach Demonstrates Corporate Fraud & Negligent Security

By The Baez Law Firm |

Negligent security doesn’t just apply to building owners who fail to keep their premises safe. The recent report released by the House Oversight Committee demonstrates that a consumer data breach—like that of Equifax—can constitute a significant crime of corporate fraud and negligent security as well. According to the report, the breach was “entirely preventable,”… Read More »

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Congress Close To Passing Significant Criminal Justice Reform

By The Baez Law Firm |

In breaking news, on December 11, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the Senate would vote on the long-awaited criminal justice reform bill, the First Step Act. Perhaps most notably, the bill brings those convicted for crack cocaine offenses prior to the 2010 implementation of the Fair Sentencing Act into line with those… Read More »

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Florida Must Restore Voting Rights to Ex-Felons This November

By The Baez Law Firm |

We’ve previously discussed just how unjust it is that those who have already served their time in Florida are permanently robbed of the ability to vote for the rest of their lives. Years after they have already served their sentences, ex-felons in the Sunshine State continue to be punished by being permanently disenfranchised. This… Read More »

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This November, Florida May Finally Do Something about Outdated Mandatory Minimum Sentencing

By The Baez Law Firm |

While Florida has rolled back some of its harsher mandatory minimum sentencing laws, many are still stuck with sentences that are years or even decades longer than those convicted of similar crimes today. However, a referendum on the state ballot this November could change that: Amendment 11 would allow the state legislature to retroactively… Read More »

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Florida Jury Finds That Officers Cannot Seize Accident Bystanders’ Cell Phones for Evidence

By The Baez Law Firm |

An important decision to come out of Martin County, Florida in early October could have statewide implications for establishing limitations on law enforcement’s ability to collect smart phones in roadside contexts. The jury decided that a deputy violated a resident’s civil rights when he grabbed a bystander’s cell phone and told him that any… Read More »

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LGBTQ Advocates Are Concerned about the Administration’s New Civil Rights Probe

By The Baez Law Firm |

LGBTQ advocates are understandably concerned after the administration recently released an announcement indicating that it would be conducting a federal investigation into whether a school district’s transgender bathroom policy contributed to the sexual assault of a five-year-old girl in Georgia. According to reports, the school district adopted a policy allowing transgender students to use… Read More »

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Administration Files Position Opposing Inclusion of Transgender Rights in Title VII of Civil Rights Act

By The Baez Law Firm |

In late October, the Trump administration took a huge step back in making progress in affording civil rights for everyone by filing a position with the U.S. Supreme Court arguing against the protection of transgender people against sex bias on the job under Title VII of the 1964 civil rights law. The case stems… Read More »

HateCrime

Florida Suspect Charged With Attempted Bombings

By The Baez Law Firm |

The hearing for the Florida man accused of sending explosive packages (pipe bombs) to several prominent members of the Democratic Party and media outlets, including CNN, was held on October 29 in federal court. Cesar Sayoc has been accused of a number of federal crimes, including assaulting federal officers, and faces more than 50… Read More »

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