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January 2016 Archives

Understanding more about the theft of trade secrets under state law

From scientific data, marketing information and customer lists to business codes, technical blueprints and recipes, there is a host of business information that could properly be classified as "trade secrets." Indeed, it's safe to say that businesses assign a great value to this information, so much so that many have their employers execute non-disclosure agreements in order to ensure that this information remains strictly confidential.

Are Florida's DUI laws set to become even tougher?

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the number of arrests for driving under the influence here in Florida have declined dramatically in recent years. Indeed, the group determined that the number of DUI arrests in the Sunshine State has plummeted from a record high of 60,574 reached back in 2002 to 40,677 in 2014.

Florida man accused of flakka importation avoids conviction

With the manufacture and distribution of synthetic drugs spanning state lines and even continents, law enforcement is often hard-pressed to keep track of the different kinds of drugs being sold. In recent years, however, various synthetic cannabinoids, synthetic cathinones (commonly called bath salts) and products sold as Molly have been made illegal on the state and federal levels.

Florida Death Penalty Found Unconstitutional: What Happens Next?

Execution_chamber,_Florida.jpgThe Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down Florida's death-penalty practice, concluding that Florida's current system, in which the jury's recommendation is combined with the final decision of the judge, violates the Constitution's Sixth Amendment. In an 8-1 determination, the court overturned several previous opinions that had upheld the system. Now, Florida's death penalty scheme is out of synch with the Sixth Amendment and perhaps could be out of commission all together, just as the use of 'Old Sparky' in the death chamber. The 10-page ruling is a triumph for death row convict Timothy Lee Hurst, but a direct challenge to Florida state lawmakers, who will have to rewrite the rules to be able to preserve capital punishment. Current Florida law states, a death sentence requires the finding of at least one aggravating circumstance; for instance, that the killing was particularly heinous, or occurred during the course of some other felony. After considering aggravating and mitigating circumstances the jury makes a nonbinding recommendation of life or death. The final sentencing determination is up to the judge, however "great weight" is to be accorded by the jury's recommendation. As a result of the Supreme Court decision there will now be many on death row with a legitimate reason to appeal their case and multiple others will now raise new appeals based upon this decision. Consequently, the public defenders will soon have a huge volume of cases to appeal and they are already underpaid and understaffed without adequate resources. With over 400 Florida prisoners facing the death penalty, the next hurdle in the race off death row will be whether the courts will apply this retroactively. The high court most recently heard argument on retroactivity in Montgomery v. Louisiana which addressed the Eighth Amendment issue prohibiting sentencing minors to life without parole, but this case has yet to be decided. One thing that is for certain, the aftershock of this ruling will surely be felt in the forthcoming petitions filed on behalf of those currently awaiting their last meal.

Florida Death Penalty Found Unconstitutional: What Now?

The Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down Florida's death-penalty practice, concluding that Florida's current system, in which the jury's recommendation is combined with the final decision of the judge, violates the Constitution's Sixth Amendment.  In an 8-1 determination, the court overturned several previous opinions that had upheld the system. Now, Florida's death penalty scheme is out of synch with the Sixth Amendment and perhaps could be out of commission all together, just as the use of 'Old Sparky' in the death chamber.  The 10-page ruling is a triumph for death row convict Timothy Lee Hurst, but a direct challenge to Florida state lawmakers, who will have to rewrite the rules to be able to preserve capital punishment.  Current Florida law states, a death sentence requires the finding of at least one aggravating circumstance; for instance, that the killing was particularly heinous, or occurred during the course of some other felony.  After considering aggravating and mitigating circumstances the jury makes a nonbinding recommendation of life or death. The final sentencing determination is up to the judge, however "great weight" is to be accorded by the jury's recommendation. As a result of the Supreme Court decision there will now be many on death row with a legitimate reason to appeal their case and multiple others will now raise new appeals based upon this decision. Consequently, the public defenders will soon have a huge volume of cases to appeal and they are already underpaid and understaffed without adequate resources. With over 400 Florida prisoners facing the death penalty, the next hurdle in the race off death row will be whether the courts will apply this retroactively.  The high court most recently heard argument on retroactivity in Montgomery v. Louisiana which addressed the Eighth Amendment issue prohibiting sentencing minors to life without parole, but this case has yet to be decided. One thing that is for certain, the aftershock of this ruling will surely be felt in the forthcoming petitions filed on behalf of those currently awaiting their last meal.

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