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Category archives for: Civil Rights

Facing Up to 50 Years in Prison for Raping Autistic Girl, Sex Offender Gets Probation. Court Delays Release: He Has No Place To Live.

| August 15, 2019

Sam Christopher Andolina, 39, was charged with raping and molesting a 13-year-old autistic girl in Palm Coast. He is to be sentenced to 10 years’ probation, but his sentence is being delayed for having no place to live locally.

End-Running Federal Lawsuit, Gov. DeSantis Petitions Florida Supreme Court on Felon Voting Rights

| August 11, 2019

A week after asking a federal judge to toss out a lawsuit on the issue, Gov. Ron DeSantis is seeking guidance from the Florida Supreme Court about a controversial state law requiring people convicted of felonies to repay financial obligations before they can regain the right to vote.

Florida Senate Will Study White Nationalism and Other Factors in Mass Violence

| August 6, 2019

In the run-up to the 2020 legislative session, the Florida Senate will review acts of mass violence such as the deadly shootings this weekend in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, along with factors such as white nationalism.

Three University Students Pose With Guns In Front of Shot-Up Emmett Till Memorial

| July 29, 2019

Three students were suspended from their fraternity house, Kappa Alpha, after we shared an Instagram photo one of the men posted that was taken in front of a sign commemorating the murder of the 14-year-old black youth in 1955.

Our Immigrant Prisons Are An Atrocity

| July 7, 2019

As reports surface about immigrant children sleeping on concrete floors and people being forced to drink water from toilets, one fact has become unmistakably clear: It’s well past time to demand an end to Trump’s cruel and inhumane treatment of immigrants.

Denying Voting Rights to Felons Should Be Beneath Us

| June 17, 2019

Who gets to vote should be driven by citizenship, the spirit of the United States Constitution and all America stands for, not by blowhardism and dirty tricks, argues Nancy Smith.

Good News: Straight People Don’t Need a Pride Parade

| June 11, 2019

Organizers of the “straight pride parade” in Boston this summer have ties to numerous far-right groups. Here are conditions that would make such a parade easier to embrace.

The Most Dangerous Time For Women’s Rights in Decades

| May 21, 2019

More than 250 bills restricting abortions have been filed in 41 states this year. At least a third have successfully passed 20-week abortion bans, based on the unfounded assertion that a fetus can feel pain 20 weeks after fertilization. 

You Don’t Get To Discriminate Just Because You’re Religious

| May 8, 2019

A bill in Texas would allow professionals of all kinds — doctors, pharmacists, electricians — to deny services to LGBTQ customers on religious grounds, a consequence of a recurring misinterpretation of law.

DeSantis Will Sign Controversial Bill With Conditions on Felons’ Voting Rights

| May 7, 2019

Earlier in the day, the League of Women Voters of Florida held a conference call with reporters urging DeSantis to veto the Amendment 4 implementation bill.

All I Want For Mother’s Day Is Equality For My Transgender Child

| May 6, 2019

She wasn’t allowed to use the girls’ bathroom. She had shoes thrown at her head when she wore leggings and lacy tops. She endured public school teachers making the sign of the cross and running off when she walked between classes.

House Passes Controversial Felons’ Voting-Rights Bill, Setting Up Financial Hurdles Before Restoration

| April 25, 2019

The House’s party-line, 71-45 vote drew a rebuke from backers of the amendment, who called the bill “a failure to live up to the bipartisan commitment” demonstrated by the 61 percent of voters who approved Amendment 4.

Renner’s Panel Goes Jekyll and Hyde on Felons, Easing Punishments But Not Voting Rights

| April 9, 2019

The House Judiciary Committee Palm Coast’s Paul Renner chairs on Tuesday passed a crime bill that eases some punishments and makes it easier for felons to reintegrate society but also passed a restrictive interpretation of Amendment 4 and felons’ right to vote.

Senate Panel Advances Bill That Would Require Felons to Pay Fines and Restitution Before Voting

| April 8, 2019

The 3-2 party-line vote followed a hurried 27-minute hearing on the bill, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Brandes, the Pinellas County Republican. Opponents of the bill are pleading to make financial burdens a roadblock to voting.

Felons’ Right To Vote and Paul Renner’s Cynical End Run Around Amendment 4

| April 6, 2019

Paul Renner, Flagler’s GOP representative and future Speaker of the House, is being dishonest and disingenuous in his defense of a bill that would make felons’ right to vote dependent on paying back all financial obligations.

‘That’s Like a Poll Tax’: Senate Bill Would Require All Restitution Paid Before Restoring Voting Right

| March 25, 2019

Dozens of people who traveled to the state Capitol to plead with lawmakers to do nothing or to dramatically scale back House and Senate bills designed to carry out the amendment. Many amendment supporters do not believe the measure requires legislative action.

Nelson Mandela’s Legacy of Activism: Ndaba Mandela, His Grandson, Speaks at Stetson

| March 25, 2019

Ndaba Mandela will discuss social justice and experiences he shared with his grandfather, who raised him while his parents were in college, on Tuesday at 6 p.m., at Stetson University as part of Stetson’s Many Voices, One Stetson initiative.

Critics See Jim Crow Poll Taxes In House Plan To Make Felons Pay Up Before Voting

| March 19, 2019

Felons would have to clear up any financial obligations, including court costs, fees and fines, before having their voting rights restored, under a House proposal castigated by critics Tuesday as a modern take on Jim Crow-era poll taxes designed to keep black voters from participating in elections.

House Piles Up Exceptions and Controversies to Automatic Restoration of Felons’ Voting Rights

| March 18, 2019

House proposals would broaden the definition of sex offenses that would keep a felon from regaining the right to vote and would add a slew of financial obligations before a felon could get the right back.

Anthony Fennick’s Death and The Sheriff’s Green Roof Inn Smear

| February 17, 2019

Much is unknown in the death of inmate Anthony Fennick, but much is known, including the sheriff’s responsibility for hiring trouble-ridden Armor Health–and for showing inmates contempt from the outset with his “Green Roof Inn” sign.

Renner Wants ‘Objectivity’ To Drive Felons’ Voter Restoration, But Hurdles Are Multiplying

| February 14, 2019

Elections officials could face a Herculean task trying to verify whether people who’ve registered to vote have met all the conditions required to make them eligible to cast ballots.

Transgender Ban in Military Is About Bigotry and Distraction, Not Readiness or Cost

| January 24, 2019

Trump is using the ban purely to provoke the left, throw red meat to his base, and distract us all from the real issues in our nation, like the government shutdown.

In Restoration of Felons’ Voting Rights, Meaning of ‘Murder’ Becomes Stumbling Block

| January 23, 2019

A new constitutional amendment grants “automatic” restoration of voting rights to felons who’ve completed their sentence, but it excludes people “convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense.”

“We Cannot Walk Alone…
We Cannot Turn Back”

| January 21, 2019

A brief history of the origins and battles of the Martin Luther King federal holiday, and of the MLK monument at the Washington Mall, with full text and video of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream Speech.”

Supervisors of Election Seek Answer on Amendment Restoring Felons’ Right to Vote

| December 4, 2018

Florida officials don’t have a plan for how to carry out a constitutional amendment that restores the right to vote to more than a million Floridians convicted of felonies.

Amendments: Felons Will Get Voting Rights, Dogs Won’t Race Anymore, Homestead Expansion Fails

| November 7, 2018

More than 64 percent of Florida voters had cast ballots for Amendment 4, which is designed to restore voting rights to an estimated 1.4 million felons who have completed their sentences.

Restoring Felons’ Right to Vote:
Why I’m Voting Yes on Amendment 4

| November 2, 2018

In 46 other states, the right is restored either immediately or on completion of probation. Florida stands out for harshness, accounting for a quarter of America’s disenfranchised.

One Email From Serial Litigant Shuts Down Flagler Beach’s Video Access to Public Meetings

| October 29, 2018

Eddie Sierra, a deaf south Floridian, is filing lawsuit after lawsuit against local governments across Florida if they stream government meetings without close-captioning them for the deaf.

Trump’s Responsibility

| October 27, 2018

Trump can’t have it both ways. He can’t revel in his powers of denigration and incitement then take cover behind a bogus sense of outrage and his usual deflections when the incitement and denigration arm fuses and kill people.

Even As Voter Registration Soars, Bogus Fraud Claims and Real Voter Suppression Live On

| October 23, 2018

Experts are predicting record-high midterm voter turnout. But millions of U.S. citizens are being systematically inhibited — either blatantly or covertly — from casting votes this November.

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