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Criminal Charges Archives

New Rapid DNA Testing Machine Legislation & Use in Miami Beach

DNA testing has revolutionized the way that crimes are solved since its inception. Through its use within law enforcement, those accused of certain crimes can be identified and charged accordingly by matching DNA found at crime scenes to the suspect's DNA. Additionally, innocent people can be exonerated of crimes based on the fact that their DNA does not match what was found on the victim or at a crime scene. Specifically with regards to sexual crimes, the advances in DNA testing have led to many sexual predators being taken off the streets, and allowed others who have been accused but who are innocent a chance to walk free.

A Jury Shows Mercy In First Miami-Dade Death Penalty Case Since Changes in Florida Law

Twelve Miami-Dade County jurors recently deliberated on whether a man should be sentenced to life in prison or receive the death penalty for his crimes. The reason that this case is historic is that it is the first time in Miami that a death-penalty case went to a sentencing hearing since the state of Florida changed the rules all together for awarding the death penalty to certain criminals. In this particular case, instead of send this convicted killer to Death Row, the jury chose mercy through a sentence of life in prison.

Teens May Face Charges in Man's Drowning Death

In early July, a Florida man entered a pond in Brevard County and drowned. Standing nearby was a group of five teens that recorded the entire incident on video. Instead of seek help for the man, who they taunted and cursed at while he struggled in the water, the teens simply let him drown without calling for help or trying to assist the man. Additionally, the teens did not report the incident to authorities, but they did post the video of the death on social media. While the victim's family was filing a missing persons report, unsure of where their loved one was at the time, the teens showed no remorse as witnesses to a drowning. The body of the man was located a few days later, and police were able to link the teens' video to the man's death.

Does the Fifth Amendment Apply to Cell Phone Passcodes?

We've all heard the defense, "I plead the fifth!" But what exactly does the Fifth Amendment in the U.S. Constitution mean for the accused? The statement of "pleading the fifth" simply means that someone accused of a crime has a right to not self-incriminate by saying something that could be used against them in a court of law. In other words, the U.S. Bill of Rights protects individuals from being compelled to be witnesses against themselves. Usually, this means that if you are arrested, you do not have to say anything to law enforcement regarding your involvement in the crime, and you will not be required to testify on the stand at your own trial. However, with modern technology such as smart phones containing so much personal information these days, how are the courts handling the possibility that a defendant's iPhone, locked by personal passcode, may contain information that could incriminate him/her?

Technology as a Witness in Criminal Cases

Technology is all around us. It's no longer a choice if we want to take part in the innovative revolution; new devices are now a part of our everyday lives. Many of these modern technologies make our everyday lives easier, and some of them may also make it easier for law enforcement to solve crimes. With all the latest technology out there recording our every step and command, it's hard to ensure any type of real privacy. The very same technology that makes it easier for us to find out answers to questions and order commodities easily, record our fitness goals, and even stay in contact with our friends may be the very same technology that can help law enforcement solve crimes. Are you aware of the ways that technology can serve as a witness in criminal cases?

Miami Gym Owner Arrested on Charges of Heading Steroid Ring

Loyal gym goers were totally shocked early one morning in late February when DEA agents raided local Miami gym, Iron Addicts, in a steroid ring bust. The Federal agents stormed the gym and pushed aside gym goers, used sledgehammers to knock down walls in the second floor offices above the gym, and confiscated some of the gym equipment. Richard Rodriguez, part owner of Iron Addicts was arrested and charged with being the head of a $10 million international steroid production and distribution ring, run primarily out of the second story office on top of the popular Miami gym.

Florida Moves to Reform History of Harsh Sentencing

Florida's legacy of harsh criminal sentencing is under the microscope lately as the Florida Senate Criminal Justice Committee concluded recently that too much state taxpayer money is being spent on people who have committed minor criminal offenses. The committee voted unanimously for SB 290, which ends minimum mandatory sentences for non-violent crimes. Liberal and conservative advocates have been pushing to reform Florida's historically harsh mandatory minimums for non-violent crimes for some time now, as these types of statutes have bogged down the judicial system and crowded prisons around the state.

Florida Supreme Court Overturns Three Death Sentences

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.

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