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Category archives for: Rights & Liberties

In a First, Palm Coast Drug Dealer Is Indicted on 1st Degree Murder in Overdose Death of Savannah Deangelis

| February 21, 2018

Joseph Colon, 34, of Palm Coast, is accused of selling the heroin and fentanyl that killed Savannah Deangelis, 23, moments later at her Grand Haven home last October.

Gun Control Could Become a Key Issue in Florida’s Elections

| February 19, 2018

Major political donors on both sides plan to use support for “common-sense” legislation as a litmus test for candidates during the 2018 midterm elections.

Claiming “Nothing Will Be Done” On Guns Lets NRA Off the Hook, Overstating Its Strength

| February 19, 2018

NRA influence has limits, and there’s evidence it’s on the wane, but fatalism spares opponents of gun reform from even having to make their arguments for protecting the gun lobby.

Facing Deportation, an Undocumented Immigrant Held at Flagler Jail Changes His Plea at Last Minute

| February 14, 2018

The case of Palm Coast resident Filipino Francisco Justo underscores how the potential for deportation increases rather than decreases burdens on the judicial and penal systems.

Campus ‘Free Speech’ Bill Is A Litigation Nightmare in the Making

| February 8, 2018

The inappropriately named “Campus Free Expression Act,” approved Tuesday by a 7-4 vote of the Florida Senate Education Committee, would offer students about as much freedom as a prison yard.

Lawmakers Seek to Ban Campus “Free Speech Zones” and Make Universities Liable

| February 6, 2018

Florida universities and colleges could be sued for up to $100,000 in damages if students or others “willfully” interfere with campus speakers or protestors.

What Trump Wants on Immigration Is Ethnic Cleansing

| February 6, 2018

Trump’s offering a fig leaf of legal status for a relatively small slice of the undocumented population in return for a drastic cut of all immigration to the U.S.

Federal Judge Declares Florida’s Arbitrary and Governor-Controlled Method of Restoring Felons’ Voting Rights Unconstitutional

| February 1, 2018

In a stinging blow to Gov. Rick Scott, a federal judge ruled that the governor’s near-exclusive authority to restore, and more often deny, voting rights to ex-felon is unconstitutional.

War Of The Birds on Palm Coast’s Collingwood Lane Ends In Victory For Purple Martins

| January 31, 2018

Neighbors on Collingwood Lane have been suing and battling each other for four years over two dozen bird houses. A judge has ruled in favor of the birds.

Bill Targeting Florida “Sanctuary Cities,” An Election-Year Wedge, Stalls In Senate

| January 31, 2018

Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, tabled his proposed sanctuary-city ban after facing bipartisan opposition to the measure aimed at requiring local governments to comply with federal immigration laws.

To Keep America Great, Legalize All Undocumented Immigrants

| January 28, 2018

We have a choice: Keep our economy vibrant and enviable or demolish it by expelling and demonizing undocumented immigrants, as short-sighted nations have done in the false name of “purity” over the years.

In the Name of the Father, the Son and Ammunition: Lawmakers Favor Guns in Churches

| January 25, 2018

The Florida House and Senate have started moving forward with measures that would allow people with concealed-weapons licenses to carry guns on the grounds of churches and other religious institutions that include schools.

Measure to Restore Voting Rights to 1.5 Million Florida Felons Goes on November Ballot

| January 23, 2018

Voting rights of felons who have served their sentences, completed parole or probation and paid restitution would be automatically restored. Murderers and sex offenders would be excluded.

In Last-Minute Reversal, Judge Agrees To More Lenient Plea in Maria Howell Case

| January 22, 2018

After rejecting the deal last month, Circuit Judge Dennis Craig agreed to 18 months in prison for Maria Howell, who’d faced trial and possibly 15 years in prison over a molestation charge.

Commission Weighs Repeal of Ban on
Public Funding For Religious Groups

| January 21, 2018

Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Raoul Cantero urged a Constitution Revision Commission panel to repeal a constitutional ban on state support for religious groups.

Cops’ Stop and Frisk Is Cut Back. Crime Doesn’t Spike. It Tumbles.

| January 21, 2018

Police have radically cut back their controversial use of stop-and-frisk policies in New York. To the surprise of some, crime didn’t spike, but tumbled yet again.

Reporting on Public Figures’ Extra-Curricular Sex

| January 13, 2018

Married or not, public figures’ affairs are nobody’s business as long as the acts are legal, consensual, off the clock and virally contained. But there are exceptions.

Jacksonville Sheriff Criticizes “Walking While Black” Reporting. Editors Respond.

| January 13, 2018

Reporting has shown that disproportionate numbers of the tickets in Jacksonville and elsewhere have gone to blacks, prompting a critical response from Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams–and a corrective retort from editors.

Florida House Readies to Pass “Sanctuary City” Ban as Election Year Winds Up

| January 12, 2018

House Speaker Richard Corcoran, who is mulling a run for governor, is pushing the sanctuary-city ban that would impose stiff penalties on local governments that don;t enforce immigration laws.

Facebook’s Uneven Enforcement of Hate Speech Rules Allows Vile Posts to Stay Up

| December 30, 2017

Asked about its handling of 49 posts that might be deemed offensive, Facebook, acknowledged that its content reviewers had made the wrong call on 22 of them.

District Picks 100 Parents to Pilot App That Monitors and Controls Their Child’s Computer

| December 19, 2017

Through a free app called Mosyle, parents will have the ability to control and lock down their child’s school issued device, with all parents given access by next fall.

County And Bunnell Score Big Grants For Plantation Bay and Stormwater, Flagler Beach and Palm Coast Do Not

| December 14, 2017

Flagler County won a $500,000 grant for improvements to its Plantation Bay utility, Bunnell won $460,000 for stormwater and sewer improvements from the St. Johns River Water Management District.

In Florida, You Can Lose Your Driver’s License For Jaywalking–Especially If You’re Black

| December 14, 2017

Sen. Jeff Brandes has repeatedly introduced measures that would prohibit driver’s license suspensions for non-driving offenses. But Clerks of court stand to lose $40 million annually if the law is modified.

A Dubious Arrest, a Compromised Prosecutor, a Tainted Plea: How One Murder Case Exposes A Broken System

| December 10, 2017

One innocent man’s odyssey through the justice system shows why defendants often agree to virtually inescapable plea deals for crimes they didn’t commit.

“We Don’t Serve Gays”

| December 9, 2017

Invoking Christian belief to deny service to a gay couple is not a First Amendment right, nor is it a matter of artistic expression. It’s good old discrimination under a new mask.

Notes From Underground

| December 4, 2017

In Afghanistan, there may be up to 1,000 children in prison with a parent–not because they committed a crime, but because Afghan law permits their imprisonment with a criminal parent until the children turn 18.

Florida Gun Store Burglaries, Often Brazen And Unresolved, Quadruple in 4 Years

| December 3, 2017

Weak security practices at many gun stores have made commercial burglaries an increasingly significant source of weapons for criminals in Florida and beyond.

82,000 Stolen Guns Are Missing in Florida, Feeding Traffic Among Drug Dealers and Felons

| December 2, 2017

Car burglaries are driving the epidemic as many gun owners leave their vehicles unlocked. Gun stores offer another easy target. Firearms stolen from these businesses during burglaries have more than quadrupled over the last five years.

Florida Voters May Get Chance to Lift Ban On Tax Subsidies to Religious Schools

| December 1, 2017

A ban on state support for religious groups would be removed from the Florida Constitution under a proposal approved Wednesday by a Constitution Revision Commission panel.

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Florida’s Ban on Openly Carrying Firearms, Ending 6-Year Case

| November 27, 2017

State lawmakers have proposed measures that would allow people with concealed-weapons licenses to openly carry firearms, but the proposals have not passed.

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