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Florida Is, Once Again, Retrying A Defendant Who Has Already Been Exonerated by DNA Evidence—What Does This Say About Our Justice System?

By The Baez Law Firm |

We have previously discussed the issue of prosecutors deciding to prosecute innocent individuals in spite of evidence to the contrary, and the wrongful convictions that can result from this misconduct. This issue was recently highlighted in the trial of Paul Hildwin, whose death sentence was reversed and capital conviction overturned when DNA evidence linking… Read More »

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Citizenship Question for Voter Registration Sparks State-Based Civil Rights Lawsuits

By The Baez Law Firm |

A huge civil rights issue has emerged at both the federal and state level regarding the citizenship question and review as part of the 2020 census. Some minority organizations now found themselves having to sue their state officials over what they call an “election-related witch hunt” designed to intimidate voters by asking them to… Read More »

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Another E-Cigarette Death Raises Question Surrounding Products Liability & Civil Litigation

By The Baez Law Firm |

There is no question that e-cigarettes have both harmed and killed a number of people after exploding and catching on fire, as well as sending shrapnel into consumers. Recently, another man died after one of these devices exploded and sent debris into his left carotid artery, lodging in his throat and causing a stroke,… Read More »

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When Criminal Cases Are Thrown Out Due To Government Misconduct

By The Baez Law Firm |

One criminal case that was dismissed due to the local sheriff “spying” on the defense’s notes and jurors’ notebooks has received widespread attention and begged the question as to just how frequently law enforcement and prosecution is involved in similar government misconduct around the country. The incident sparked outrage from criminal and civil rights… Read More »

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Florida Criminal Defense Attorney Wins Post-Conviction Release for BlueWare CEO

By The Baez Law Firm |

In February, criminal defense attorney Jose Baez won a post-conviction release of BlueWare CEO Rose Harr, who was previously found guilty of Conspiracy to Commit Bribery and Principle to Commit Bid Tampering in a 2014 criminal public corruption case. The alleged scandal and subsequent charges involved former Brevard Clerk of the Court Mitchell Needelman… Read More »

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In Florida, Not Only Are Wrongful Convictions Par for the Course, But Some Prosecutors Fight Obvious Exonerations

By The Baez Law Firm |

It’s no secret that no state in the U.S. likely has more wrongful convictions than Florida, where a number of defendants are convicted simply because they did not have the resources to build a proper defense and/or were cajoled into taking inaccurate plea bargains. Sadly, in Brevard County in particular, wrongful convictions are reportedly… Read More »

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Florida Student Arrested For Refusing To Stand For/Recite the Pledge of Allegiance

By The Baez Law Firm |

News of an 11-year-old Florida student being arrested, taken to a juvenile detention center, and charged with a misdemeanor for refusing to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in class has been covered all over news headlines. Not only is the child now facing criminal charges, but his civil rights under the First and Fourteenth… Read More »

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Florida Officers Accused Of Slapping Suspect Taken Into Custody & Trying To Destroy Evidence of It

By The Baez Law Firm |

Two Florida police officers are not only being accused of police misconduct, but are also now facing criminal charges—misdemeanor battery—after a video showed them slapping a handcuffed teenager as they were being taken into custody. One of them is also being accused of trying to destroy the video surveillance that captured the activity. The… Read More »

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Will It Become A Crime In Florida To Avoid Assisting Someone In Need?

By The Baez Law Firm |

Under proposed changes to Florida’s Good Samaritan law, if you fail to call for help for someone who is in distress, you could be charged with a crime. The inspiration for the proposed change to the law involved the death of an 18-year-old who was supposedly left too close to a pond by his… Read More »

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Medical Marijuana May Finally Be Decriminalized In Florida under DeSantis

By The Baez Law Firm |

Although the state of Florida appealed Florida Circuit Judges’ decisions that the Legislature’s ban on medical marijuana smokables was illegal under outgoing Governor Rick Scott, according to reports, incoming Governor Rick DeSantis has indicated that he has no interest in pursuing these appeals, which could effectively result in medical marijuana finally being decriminalized in… Read More »

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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 »

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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 »

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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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