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June 2013 Archives

Under the New Bong Ban

Florida is now under a "bong ban". St. Petersburg representative, Darryl Rouson, first introduced this movement to Florida legislation. He is a former drug addict that feels that if the state takes away the selling of bongs and glass pipes, drug users will not have a way to use their drugs. Republican Governor Rick Scott signed off on this movement, giving it his seal of approval. Seventy six owners of Florida smoke shops have formed a coalition to repel the ban set by the legislation. The Florida Smoke Shop Association has raised over $100,000 dollars for their cause. The money raised has gone towards hiring a lobbyist and other expenses that will help their cause. They feel as though they have to go head to head with their government to protect their livelihood. The shops are the means that owners and employees make ends meet - to take away their source of income is illogical and unethical to them. 

New England Patriots Drop Hernandez as Arrests Are Made

According to various news reports, New England Patriots teammate Aaron Hernandez may be charged with the obstruction of justice in Massachusetts from a murder investigation surrounding him. According to ABC news and other reports, Hernandez was seen hanging out with his friend Lloyd in several nightclubs before Lloyd was found shot in the back of the head. There is mounting speculation that Aaron Hernandez was somehow involved. News reports regarding a potential charge of obstruction of justice have surfaced because of the following three allegations against Hernandez:

Prisons in Florida and across U.S. host deplorable conditions

prisoners in a jail yardWhen individuals are convicted of criminal wrongdoing, they are often sentenced to serve lengths of imprisonment. This imprisonment may be used as a way to ensure public safety, to punish individuals for their actions or for both purposes. However, criminal law does hold that even while imprisoned, Americans retain many of their basic rights. Any treatment of prisoners and imprisonment conditions deemed to be cruel and unusual are illegal under the Constitution.

Polk County Sex Stings Have No End in Sight

polk-county-sex-sting.jpgThe number of registered sex offenders rose dramatically in the state of Florida to over 70 percent with the rest of the US at approximately 23 percent increase. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd recently stated that they won't put up with it in their county, and "We go after them everyday." This increase can be seen as a big push for Florida law enforcement because it shows that law enforcement is dedicating much of their time to these stings, as the increase in the amount of convictions added to the sex offender's registry shows the efforts that are being made. This past week of June 12-16, the efforts of four months undercover work resulted in a weeklong sting led by Polk County authorities where a record number of offenders were arrested on the spot. Forty men and one woman were arrested who traveled into the county presumably looking to have sex with children. For a multitude of reasons, many perpetrators travel to Polk County to supposedly have sex with the children there, and the Sheriff's department does no stand for it. In 2006, Polk County law officials began seriously going after these perpetrators. In 2009, Polk County conducted nine of these undercover operations and arrested 309 individuals, but this latest sting brought in the largest number in one week.

Domestic Violence Statutes Scream for Reforms

Orange County, Orlando is known as one of the most dangerous counties in the U.S. for Domestic Violence victims. After years of this reputation, high-level officials in the judicial system and the community met together to improve the situation. The Domestic Violence Commission announced that after four months of research, there are some amendments that can be made to the present protocol that will improve the city. Additional money in areas of law enforcement and other measures in protecting the victim were major concepts that emerged.

New York Has Similar Program, which has Tremendous Results
Last year in 2012, Orange County reported 4,414 domestic violence arrests, which was second only to the 4,772 in Miami-Dade, with twice as many residents. Orange County has spent over $24 million on 911 operators, police officers, jail expenses and sheriffs that take the distress call, and when law enforcement responds to the call, they could only release the batterer because laws and administration were not properly executed. 

Florida Government Database Leaks Private Information

The Florida American Civil Liberties Union, or the ACLU, released to the press yesterday that a confidential leak occurred from a Florida database called E-Force that stores personal prescription information in order to regulate the sale of prescription drugs. The leak in private information was discovered by an individual associated with six criminal cases in Volusia County. The individual, who was not directly involved with the trials, found their personal information and prescriptions had been made available to an unauthorized third party. The ACLU has requested that the Seminole County Sheriff's Office and the Florida Department of Health disclose why and how this happened. 

John Goodman Goes Back to Court in August

The DUI Conviction of Multi-million Dollar Mogul John Goodman A DUI trial can be complicated, as the DUI manslaughter case of John Goodman proves last year in 2012. It is so important to have a skilled and experienced criminal defense DUI attorney to represent your case, if something like this should happen, so your rights are completely protected. John Goodman, a Palm Beach Polo Club owner and is standing in line for a tremendous inheritance was charged and convicted in May of 2012 for DUI manslaughter when he smashed his Bentley in the vehicle that killed 23 year old Scott Patrick in Wellington. Patrick was killed at the scene, and Goodman went to trial and was, and sentenced to 16 years in prison. His attorneys have been extremely busy this year, and Goodman has been granted a retrial in August, 2013. The First Trial Antics Leading to a Second The first trial, in May 2012, would have been legal, cut and dry, if it weren't for a particular juror that many say lied to get on the jury. Dennis Demartin from Delray Beach came to the trial with another agenda in mind, and he often made the courtroom his private circus. 

Florida To Start Prosecuting Crimes On Cruise Ships

Disney Dream in portFor the last twenty or thirty years, crimes that occurred on a cruise ship that were not serious enough to involve federal authorities, the event usually "disappeared" into a pile of paperwork and the crime went unpunished. However, due to recent findings that show many serious crimes are not being reported, including that of a molestation of an 11 year old girl on the Disney Cruise Line, Brevard State Attorney, Phil Archer, has stated that Florida is willing to exercise its jurisdiction to extend to these crimes, even if they exceed the three mile limit for Florida waters.

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