A Florida state appellate court will soon decide whether to appeal a guilty conviction of a man who was identified by police using a controversial police surveillance program. The controversial facial recognition program was used by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office to find a man who was accused of selling drugs. Now, the First District Court of Appeals is set to break new legal ground in deciding if police are allowed to use facial software to identify suspects in crimes without notifying the defense first.
If you've ever watched a Hollywood crime show, you've probably heard the phrase, "You have the right to remain silent" when a suspect is arrested. These seven words usually come shortly after the phrase, "You are under arrest." But do you know exactly what it means when a law enforcement officer makes this particular statement, and are you aware of your rights as a crime suspect under the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights?
In the wake of the devastating news coming from one Hollywood, FL nursing home where 10 patients died as a result of damages incurred during Hurricane Irma, many are outraged and demanding criminal charges be brought against the nursing home staff and owner. Despite the fact that lives were lost during this tragic event, a criminal conviction against the home for the deaths of these patients may be hard to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, according to Florida law. It may even be difficult to bring charges against the home, due to the definitions of a crime related to an incident of this kind.
White-collar crimes may not always be as obvious a crime as something like a murder or a robbery. Many times, these are crimes committed by people you would never expect to be involved in criminal activities. White-collar crimes often happen "on paper," and the prosecution needs to prove something as subjective as "intent" in order to prove that a crime was actually committed.
When someone is arrested and booked into the police station, there is a possibility that they may be released prior to a trial based on certain criteria. Depending on the severity of a crime, some people may be eligible to post bail and be released, while others will be required to wait behind bars before they have a trial for the crime they are accused of committing. The process of assigning bail and what it means for an accused person differs by individual, and will be outlined below in more detail.
A wrongful conviction in a criminal case not only causes a lot of financial and emotional strain on the victim of the wrongful conviction and his/her family, but it can also cost the taxpayers a lot in the wrongful imprisonment of an innocent person. For all these reasons, it's important that the criminal justice system work hard at preventing this type of critical mistake. In the state of Florida, two new proposed laws could make it easier to prevent a wrongful conviction and also provide compensation for a larger group of innocent people who are wrongfully convicted and imprisoned.
There is a growing conflict surrounding the new Florida death penalty law due to some individuals receiving overturned death sentences. Known inmates charged with first-degree murder, who previously were sentenced to death, may now only face life imprisonment. Re-sentencing hearings have already taken place and more are being scheduled to determine whether the death sentence they hold still stands.
In a controversial decision, Christopher Sharod Massena was found guilty and sentenced to 30 years in a federal prison for supplying a drug called fentanyl to Christian Hernandez who died as a result of an overdose of the drug. The controversy surrounds not just the verdict, but also the judge's ruling to not allow the defense's argument into the courtroom.
When it comes to smuggling illegal items into, or out of, the United States, smugglers can get pretty creative. Such is the case with a shipment from Maracaibo, Venezuela, which was seized by custom agents at Miami International Airport this past April.