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Category archives for: Rights & Liberties

Trump’s Decision To End Dreamers’ Amnesty Creates Dilemma For Florida GOP

| September 5, 2017

Florida is home to at least 30,000 people who could be affected and is the base for exponentially more Hispanic voters who could be critical to next year’s elections.

The Brutality Behind Trump’s Arpaio Pardon

| August 30, 2017

The president called Joe Arpaio, a man who chronically violated people’s constitutional rights, a “patriot.” What does that make his victims?

For David Snelgrove, Sentenced in Palm Coast Double-Murder in 2000, Execution Again In Question

| August 29, 2017

The Supreme Court threw out David Snelgrove’s death sentence as unconstitutional because twice juries were not unanimous. A re-sentencing’s complicated road began today before Judge Dennis Craig.

Florida Lawmakers to Review Law Targeting Injured Undocumented Workers

| August 27, 2017

A top Florida lawmaker and a national insurance fraud group criticized a law used by insurers to turn in injured undocumented workers and avoid paying workers’ comp benefits.

Mark James Asay Is Executed for 1987 Jacksonville Murders, 24th on Scott’s Watch

| August 24, 2017

Asay is the first Florida inmate to be put to death in more than 19 months and the first execution under a lethal injection procedure never used before in Florida or any other state.

Confederate Monuments’ Phony History

| August 19, 2017

The irony of the debate over removal of Confederate monuments is that it supposes a removal of history when the monuments themselves were intended to re-write it.

UF Prepares For White Supremacist Richard Spencer, a Rally Participant in Charlottesville

| August 15, 2017

National Policy Institute President Richard Spencer, who made an appearance at the Charlottesville event, could speak at the University of Florida next month. Authorities are taking measures.

Not This Time: Supreme Court Rejects Re-Sentencing For Murderer of 13-Year-Old Girl

| August 11, 2017

Hitchcock was sent to Death Row after a 10-2 jury recommendation. Attorneys argued that the new unanimity standard should retroactively apply to his case and lead to a new sentencing hearing.

Palm Coast Council Kills Memorial To 208 U.S. Soldiers Its Beautification Committee Had Unanimously Approved

| August 9, 2017

The council killed a proposed plaque that memorializes the 34 Navy sailors and Marines killed and 174 wounded by an Israeli attack on the USS Liberty in 1967.

Clash Continues Ahead of Aug. 24 Execution Over Lethal Injection Drug Never Before Used

| August 9, 2017

Asay’s execution would be the first carried out in Florida since a January 2016 U.S. Supreme Court decision that found Florida’s death penalty sentencing system was unconstitutional.

PAL and Flagler District Agree to Middle School Sports Programs, But Student Records Would Not Be Private

| July 19, 2017

The Flagler Sheriff’s Police Athletic League will run several middle school sports programs this year, but participation is conditional on PAL having access to attendance, grades and progress reports.

Flagler Voters Opting to Cancel Registration in Response to Trump Commission’s Sweeping Records Request

| July 7, 2017

Flagler County through the state will comply with Trump’s federal commission request for vast amounts of voter registration information, but the decision is causing a backlash.

Florida’s “Execution Machine” Back On As Gov. Scott Schedules First State Killing In 18 Months

| July 5, 2017

Gov. Rick Scott rescheduled the execution date of convicted killer Mark James Asay for Aug. 27. The killing was put on hold after the U.S. and Florida supreme courts declared the state’s execution methods unconstitutional.

Your Papers Please: Trump Commission Demands Massive Amounts of Voter Data

| July 4, 2017

A Trump commission has asked all 50 states for copies of their voter records which often include names, addresses and ages. The commission has said it intends to make the information widely available.

In Rare Joint Appearance, Flagler’s 3 Judges Speak Candidly About the Job’s Challenges On and Off Bench

| June 22, 2017

Circuit Court judges Dennis Craig and R. Lee Smith and County Court Melissa Moore-Stens spoke of personal and professional challenges and addressed the Flagler bench’s workload.

Citizens’ Review Panel May Not Force Testimony From Cops, Florida Supreme Court Rules

| June 22, 2017

The case stemmed from a complaint filed in 2009 alleging misconduct by a cop during a traffic stop. The Miami police department’s internal affairs division found insufficient evidence of misconduct.

Where It’s Legal, Pot Leads To Fewer Traffic Stops, But Racial Disparities Remain

| June 21, 2017

The drop means fewer interactions between police and drivers, potentially limiting dangerous clashes. But black and Hispanic drivers are still searched at higher rates than white motorists.

Court Allows ACLU’s Public Record Fight Over Police Tracking of Cell Phones

| June 20, 2017

The ACLU requested the records from Jackson as part of a broader inquiry in 2014 into the Sarasota Police Department’s use of what are known as “Stingray” tracking devices.

Trump Administration Quietly Rolls Back Civil Rights Efforts Across Federal Government

| June 17, 2017

Previously unannounced directives will limit the Department of Justice’s use of a storied civil rights enforcement tool, and loosen the Department of Education’s requirements on investigations.

Health Providers Prevail Over Gun Promoters in Guns v. Glocks Duel as 2011 Law Dies

| June 12, 2017

The plaintiffs in the case, including individual doctors, argued that the restrictions were a violation of their First Amendment rights. A federal court agreed.

When Elected Officials Block Constituents on Twitter or Facebook, Possibly Breaking the Law

| June 11, 2017

As elected officials increasingly turn to social media to communicate with constituents, some are blocking those who disagree with them. Some say it violates the First Amendment.

In Blow to Collective Bargaining, Court Upholds Scott Veto of Firefighters’ Pay Raises

| June 6, 2017

Scott’s decision to veto the $1.57 million for state firefighters, including employees who fight forest fires, had drawn criticism even from Agriculture Secretary Adam Putnam.

He Was About To Pick Up His Newborn Son After Surgery When He Was Arrested By ICE

| June 4, 2017

The case of Oscar Millan shows ICE’s renewed focus on strict immigration enforcement. Under the Obama administration, agents had discretion in cases of immigrants with gravely sick children.

James Taylor Is Sentenced to Life In Prison on Molestation Charge; Appeal Immediately Filed

| June 2, 2017

Attorneys for James Taylor, 39, of Palm Coast and Gainesville, said his trial was unfair and prejudicial in several regards, and the act itself no evidence of molestation.

In American First, Scott Signs Bill Providing for Birth Certificates In Cases of Miscarriage

| May 31, 2017

The bill, which easily cleared the Senate and House in early May, makes Florida the first state in the nation to issue birth certificates for miscarriages. The implications of the bill are unclear.

In Flagler and Palm Coast, Hate Crimes Are a Rarity Even as State and National Stats Soar

| May 25, 2017

Officials and experts cite many reasons why reported hate crimes are rare: there may be more harmony locally, but also more subjectivity, under-reporting and lack of awareness when hate crimes are committed.

High Court Denies Challenge to Florida’s New Unanimous Jury Requirement in Death Cases

| May 24, 2017

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision cements a state law enacted this year that requires unanimous jury recommendations for the death penalty to be considered in capital cases.

The Problems With the FBI’s Investigation of Clinton’s Emails Went Well Beyond Comey

| May 14, 2017

A close examination of the FBI’s handling of the Clinton emails reveals a very different narrative that places previously undisclosed judgments and misjudgments by the Bureau at the very heart of what unfolded.

Not My President

| May 12, 2017

Renouncing Donald Trump is the conservative thing to do if one’s allegiance is to the rule of law, to American democratic institutions, to unobstructed law enforcement and to transparency and accountability.

Supreme Court Orders New Sentencing of Palm Coast Double-Murderer on Death Row

| May 12, 2017

David Snelgrove has twice been sentenced to death for the murders of Glyn Fowler, 84, and his wife, Vivian, 79, on Bannbury Lane in Palm Coast in late June 2000, but never unanimously.

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