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August 2013 Archives

Why Has Drug Sentencing Reform been so Hard to Achieve in Florida?

Earlier this month, the U.S. Attorney General announced a significant change in federal drug policy. Rather than insist that individuals convicted of low-level federal drug offenses be subject to severe mandatory minimum sentences in order to appear tough on crime, Eric Holder announced that federal prosecutors must retreat from this practice. Significant offenders will remain subject to certain minimums. But the federal government will no longer be authorizing lengthy incarceration minimums for low-level offenders.

Florida Shooters are Still Walking Free

floridagun.gifState legislators sold "Stand Your Ground" as a legal protection for law-abiding Floridians who were forced to defend their family and property. House speaker Will Weatherford stated he wouldn't be opposed to legislation changing Florida's controversial self-defense law, as long as the state's law enforcement advised that changes are needed. But at the 2013 Florida Sheriffs Association Summer Conference, Florida sheriffs voted in support of the "Stand Your Ground" law. It has recently been stated by the FSA that only 57 of the 67 sherrifs were present at the time of voting. Scott Israel, one of the sheriffs absent at the time, has recently come out in opposition to the supposedly unanimous vote. FSA President and Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd stated that, "The right to self-defense is well-established in law. The Florida Sheriffs confirmed this position by voting unanimously, at the 2013 Florida Sheriffs Association Summer Conference, to support the Stand Your Ground law as it is currently written." 

Theft Technique of "Apple-Picking" Reported in Orlando

stealing an iphoneWith new technology, thieves discover new ways to specialize in stealing, and "Apple-picking" has become one of the newest ways for thieves to work an old trade. Within an hour on Saturday night, Orlando police had reports from five women who had their smart phones stolen from their purses at the Roxy Club. This new trend of theft has thieves snatching Apple smart phones out of women's purses in crowded places like bars, clubs or concerts. The name "Apple-picking" originated from the action of thieves walking through a crowd unnoticed, and lifting smartphones from purses. This is exactly what Mehdi Ari and Paula Castro were doing Saturday night. They were working through the crowd inside, and Ari would snag the iPhone out of the purses, then passing it on to Paula to conceal in her bag. Apple-picking and smart phones have become a global crime in recent years. In the U.S. alone, NY State Attorney General Eric Sneiderman reports that 113 smart phones are stolen or lost every minute.

Joining the NRA to Overturn Teen Gun Restrictions

A person may join the armed services as young as seventeen with parental consent. In that service, the person will be trained in the use of automatic weapons and may well wield them in the defense of this nation. However, a 1968 federal gun ban on adults ages 18 to 20 prevents the same individual from purchasing a handgun from an authorized dealer.

Boating Under the Influence and Labor Day

Labor Day is fast approaching. Central Floridians will be out on their boats on the Conway and Butler chain of lakes and further east on the St. John's river and the intracoastal. Please make sure you keep safe as alcohol is the number one cause of death in boating accidents last year.

How Organized Retail Crime Presents itself Around Florida

Organized Retail CrimeThere is theft in every city in the U.S., but the larger cities like Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and Atlanta also have to be concerned with rising Organized Retail Crime or ORC. Organized Theft costs businesses much more in losses than individual theft. Law enforcement in Miami-Dade recently stopped a criminal and seized over $7,000 from the vehicle. This July, 2013, a task force was formed in Miami to seriously combat these ORC criminals. The task force was made up of representatives from Homeland Security investigations team, the Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney's Office, the FL Department of Law Enforcement and statewide prosecutors from across Florida. The strategy was for each department to form a strategic plan to bring ORC criminals to a quick justice. Retailers from the area also contributed their individual strategies and suspicions on ORC criminals. 

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