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Category archives for: Rights & Liberties

Ousted In Cop Case, Prosecutor Who Won’t Seek Death Penalty Challenges Scott

| March 21, 2017

State Attorney Aramis Ayala is accusing Gov. Scott of abusing his authority by ousting her as prosecutor in the case of alleged cop-killer Markeith Loyd.

As 1st Brick In Wall Goes Up, An Accounting of the Cost of a Single Installment ($2.8 Billion) to U.S. Taxpayers

| March 19, 2017

That first $2.6 billion will not go toward the permanent wall Trump has committed to (that’s forecast to be around 10 times the $2.6 billion) but to a bunch of smaller walls and patch holes in the assortment of fences that now exist.

In Stunning Move, State Attorney Ayala Won’t Pursue Death Sentences in Orange and Osceola

| March 16, 2017

Ayala’s decision infuriated Gov. Scott, Attorney General Bondi and police organizations, but drew praise from others who see the position more in line with a growing national trend by courts, some governors and legislatures.

Stetson University Hosting Immigration Forum on April 1

| March 15, 2017

In light of many recent convulsions in immigration law, Stetson University is hosting an open forum discussion with St. Petersburg immigration attorney Arturo R. Rios on recent changes in immigration actions and law.

A Country Unbecoming In the Age of Trump

| March 14, 2017

Immigrants targeted for prosecution or removal could be the people who built your house, picked the fruit for your breakfast, and tidied up the hotel room where you last stayed.

Florida’s Lethal Injections Ready to Stab Again As Gov. Scott Signs Death Penalty Bill

| March 13, 2017

Florida is again poised to begin executions and prosecute death penalty cases after Gov. Rick Scott signed a law Monday aimed at fixing flaws in the state’s capital sentencing procedure.

An Outbreak of Anti-Semitism in an Angry and Fearful America Since Trump’s Election

| March 12, 2017

“Documenting Hate,” an attempt to document hate crimes and bigotry from a divided America, has recorded more than 330 reports of anti-Semitic incidents during a three-month span from early November to early February.

Florida Senate Backs Unanimous Juries in Death Sentences

| March 9, 2017

Thursday’s Senate vote — on the third day of the 2017 legislative session — would ostensibly fix the weaknesses identified by the majority of the Florida Supreme Court with the current law.

Revealing Look at How Flagler Beach Commission, in Closed-Door Meeting, Settled Wrongful Arrest Claim

| March 9, 2017

Vassili Mironov had sued the Flagler Beach Police Department for $89,000 after his arrest at Finns for a fight he says he did not start. He got $6,000 in a settlement that revealed how divided city commissioners arrived at their 3-2 vote.

Lawmakers Back Secrecy for Murder Witnesses

| March 9, 2017

Witnesses’ identifying information would remain secret for two years after the date of the incidents, except to prosecutors and police.

Felons Seeking to Regain Right To Vote Look to Constitutional Amendment

| March 6, 2017

The constitutional change, if approved, could open up voting rights for more than 700,000 Floridians, although fewer than 300,000 could be expected to apply, at least initially.

Gov. Scott Names Political Loyalists To Constitutional Revision Commission

| March 4, 2017

Scott’s selections included a number of Republican political allies, including influential insurance lobbyist Fred Karlinsky, a major Scott political fundraiser, and Brecht Heuchan, a key player with the governor’s “Let’s Get to Work” political committee.

Florida Supreme Court Upholds Ban On Openly Carrying Guns in 4-2 Ruling

| March 3, 2017

Justices, in a 4-2 ruling, said the state law “regulates only one manner of bearing arms and does not impair the exercise of the fundamental right to bear arms.”

Guns at Florida Airports, Colleges, Government Buildings: House Speaker Says “Let’s Try It”

| March 1, 2017

Some 39 bills, resolutions and resolution-like memorials have been filed in the Legislature so far that include language that would make gun possession and carrying more permissive in Florida.

Don’t Fall For False Tone of Moderation in Trump’s Fact-Challenged Speech to Congress

| March 1, 2017

Some pundits and lawmakers applauded Trump for this “presidential” moment. Tone aside, however, the substance of the speech doesn’t diverge from Trump’s radical nationalist extremism, argues Peter Certo.

Legislating Free Speech on Florida’s College Campuses? Not So Fast.

| February 27, 2017

A Legislative committee pondered on proposed legislation called the Campus Free Speech Act. Stanley Kurtz, a conservative academic, told lawmakers the measure would defend the right for people to speak their minds at the state’s universities.

I Am An Enemy Combatant

| February 25, 2017

The media has been the enemy since the earliest days of the Republic. But to be an enemy in America is what all of us at one point or another have been or will be. It is an American responsibility. It’s proof of our beloved American citizenship.

Donald Trump’s New Deputy CIA Director: a Torturer Who Destroyed Evidence

| February 23, 2017

Gina Haspel was deeply involved in the illegal torture of a prisoner at a secret CIA site, and when questions arose about the brutality, demolished 92 tapes that had documented the abuse.

Sanctuary Cities Brace For Trump Order Targeting Undocumented Immigrants for Deportation

| February 19, 2017

Many cities, counties and college campuses nationwide are pledging to limit cooperation with immigration enforcers in the face of President Trump’s pledge to quickly deport 2 to 3 million undocumented immigrants.

Congress Signals Opposition to Assisted Suicide; Proponents Fear State Laws in Jeopardy

| February 19, 2017

A congressional committee voted to overturn an assisted-suicide measure in Washington, D.C., last week, signalling more willingness in Congress to possibly reverse more liberal state laws.

Protesters, True Patriots

| February 17, 2017

Freedom for the thought we agree with is as cheap as a Facebook click on the like button. Freedom for the thought that we hate is what separate Americans from thuggery.

1st Amendment Trumps 2nd: Court Says Doctors Have Right To Ask About Guns at Home

| February 17, 2017

Major portions of a controversial Florida law restricting physicians and other health-care providers from asking patients about guns is unconstitutional, a federal appeals court ruled.

Florida House Moves to End Participation In Federal Refugee Resettlement Program

| February 16, 2017

The bill sponsor acknowledged there is no evidence terrorists have used the refugee program to enter Florida and that the withdrawal wouldn’t halt the federal government from locating refugees in the state.

Spate of Bills Would Allow Floridians to Carry Guns at Colleges, Airports, Bars, Courthouses, Stadiums

| February 14, 2017

One of the proposals would decriminalize the penalty for people who briefly display a firearm in public, others would allow concealed carry permit holders to carry guns in courthouses, jails and government meetings, among other places.

Travel Ban Sham By The Numbers: Trump Is Inventing Refugees’ Threat to National Security

| February 12, 2017

Contrary to President Trump’s factually misleading claims, a rational evaluation of his travel ban indicates its measures would have virtually no effect on improving U.S. national security.

Judge Rules No Discrimination In Bakers’ Refusal to Call Gays “Abomination” on a Cake

| February 10, 2017

A customer had accused an Orlando bakery of religious discrimination when the owners refused to make a cake with the words “Homosexuality is an abomination unto the Lord.”

Proposal to Require Unanimity from Florida Juries in Death Penalty Cases Advances

| February 6, 2017

But efforts to broaden the legislation to address other issues involved in a series of court rulings that prompted this year’s measure appear, at least for now, to be doomed.

Don’t Play Into Trump’s Hands on the Muslim Ban

| February 3, 2017

Dina El-Rifai, a Muslim woman, writes of being terrified, heartbroken, and outraged by Donald Trump’s “Muslim ban.” But, she notes, The Obama administration’s wars were often justified through the demonization and dehumanization of Muslims.

After NY Cop Salutes Violence Against Anti-Trump Protester, His Online Post Comes Under Review

| February 3, 2017

An anti-Trump marcher got punched in the face. A Port Authority cop posted “Grow up bitches and get a job.” The department’s inspector general gets a referral.

Cops’ Dash-Cam Video Evidence Gets Big Boost in 5-2 Ruling By Florida Supreme Court

| February 1, 2017

“We cannot expect officers to retain information as if he or she were a computer,” the court ruled, granting power to judges to review video evidence when available.

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