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Juvenile Justice Archives

Florida Law Governing Juvenile Bullies who Behave Criminally

In recent years, the media has devoted a great deal of attention to the subject of bullying. Research indicates that bullying can have a devastating effect on those who are targeted. In addition, bullying behavior can scar those who target others as well. It is important for Florida parents to teach their children to refrain from bullying not only because it is cruel but also because such behavior can lead to criminal charges.

Parents: Don't Let a Battery Charge Ruin Your Kid's Future

On September 20, 2013 a fight broke out between two eighth graders that attend Palmer High School. A 13-year-old was charged with assault and battery after allegedly choking a fellow classmate (age 13) on high school grounds. The suspect held the victim in a choke hold for 12 seconds causing him to fall unconsciously to the ground. The victim was taken to the hospital for an evaluation of the possible injuries and the suspect was released to his mother, and was scheduled to juvenile court to address the charges. Battery and assaults occur in high school far more common than people tend to think. Sometimes these cases go unnoticed and are seen as a joke; however other times these situations are prosecuted by the state and have serious consequences to the Defendant. 

Parents Beware of Your Kids on Halloween Horror Nights

Halloween Horror Nights LogoHalloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios is an amazing experience for parents and kids alike. Between September and November, Universal transforms itself at night into a land of haunted houses, crazy street experiences and some excellent shows. Tons of teenagers and young college kids love going to this event and it truly is a unique experience. On the other hand, over the years some kids and young adults have gotten out of control or have broken laws and have been arrested for theft, or trespass without warning.

How Can Florida Improve its Correction System?

Florida has always been a state with a high number of offenders, resulting in either state or federal incarceration. Even with Florida's tough drug laws, 88 percent of those would be released, and the recidivism rate was one in three that would return within three years. In 2009, the state inmate population reached over 100,000 and was predicted to escalate, which would cost taxpayers $2 billion dollars in increases. In 2013, the average cost of the annual incarceration for one inmate is approximately $18,000. The number of inmates across the country reached a total of 1.6 million in 2009, but since 2010 the number has been decreasing at rate of 9 percent per year. Florida Correction Facilities discussed plans to deal with the increase in Florida, but decided against building 19 new prisons, at an estimated cost of $2 billion to accommodate the growth. Instead, legislature chose to focus on the reformation and restoration of the prisoners who would soon be released and reentering society.

Protests Commence at Capitol Hill

protests in washington dcThe much controversial trial of George Zimmerman ended on July 12, 2013 when a jury of six acquitted Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman's defense throughout the trial self-defense, built originally on the Stand Your Ground law. The verdict created as much controversy as the trial, and the effects were felt throughout Florida and the rest of the country. On July 16, a protest by a politically-driven group called the Dream Defenders began quietly protesting inside the Capitol building. Until now, the overtime security has cost taxpayers $100,000, but there has been no violence. During the day hours, the protestors are free to come and go in the entire building, but at night they must remain in designated areas. 

The Future of Gun Laws in Florida

The state of Florida has always been at the top of the list for the number of criminal offenders that are convicted and serving time in prison. Florida has many gun laws, not necessarily strict, which has caused non-violent offenders to have sentences that are 167 percent over the national average. The gun laws in Florida serve in self-defense for the shooter, which gives them a strange perspective when you look at the laws. The recent controversial trial and possible acquittal for George Zimmerman in the trial of the death of Trayvon Martin creates a perfect example of the complicated view of gun laws. Zimmerman's attorneys use laws of self-defense, which created controversy across the country. The Stand Your Ground law was sought primarily Zimmerman's to be his defense, but the trial also opened the doors of racial profiling and aggressive force in defense with a firearm. 

Can Juvenile Criminal Records be Expunged?

angry teen threatening someoneFor various reasons, juveniles are treated differently than adults are when they commit criminal infractions. The juvenile criminal system functions to serve two primary purposes. First, it aims to hold juveniles accountable for behavior that breaks the law. Second and perhaps far more importantly in many cases, it aims to rehabilitate juvenile offenders and set them up for success as adults.

Miranda is Not Just for Words Alone

When most people hear of Miranda warnings, they assume it relates to verbal interrogation by the police. A recent case came out of the Florida District Court of Appeals that examines what Miranda really means. The court explored Miranda warnings in great deal and highlighted the fact that interrogation for Miranda purposes refers not only to express questioning, but also to any words or actions by the police other than those normally attendant to arrest and custody that the police know are likely to elicit an incriminating response. The court pointed out a number of tactics that cops use in lieu of express questioning such as the use of psychological ploys, such as confronting the suspect with his or her guilt, minimizing the seriousness of the offense, and looking to cast blame on others.

Florida Supreme Court Tackles Life Sentences for Juveniles

Sentencing for juvenile crimes is a hot-button issue in Florida and one that is overdue for some resolution. In May 2010 the United States Supreme Court ruled in Graham v. Florida, holding that juveniles who have not killed a person may not be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Over 75 juvenile inmates in Florida became eligible for resentencing - more than any other state.

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