criminal justice

ACLU

A new study looks at the disparate treatment of black adult criminal defendants in Miami-Dade County.

“Unequal treatment: Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Miami-Dade Criminal Justice,” finds black Hispanics and black non-Hispanics are overrepresented in local jails and face harsher penalties as they make their way through the court system.

Daniel Rivero / WLRN News

Jason Bellows was a Florida inmate on his way out of prison and back into the real world. 

Associated Press

The Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) is proposing a plan to reduce in-person visitation hours. That comes at the same time it rolls out a for-profit contract with a Miramar-based company for digital visitations. Critics question the motives of the state, while the FDC maintains there is no connection between the two.

The state’s proposal would cut prison visitations in half in most facilities.

Updated at 8:16 p.m. ET

Maryland's second-highest court has ruled that Adnan Syed, whose murder conviction served as a subject for the hit podcast Serial, deserves a new trial. The decision issued Thursday by the Court of Special Appeals upheld a lower-court ruling that Syed's counsel in his original murder trial was deficient and ineffective.

In a case stemming from the death of a man after an altercation in a bar, Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office Friday urged the Florida Supreme Court to uphold a ruling that a car can legally be considered a weapon.

The Supreme Court said in January that it would take up an appeal by Adam Lloyd Shepard, who was convicted on a charge of manslaughter with a weapon after fatally striking Spencer Schott with a car after leaving a Jacksonville Beach bar in January 2011.

Florida lawmakers are working to create a centralized location for criminal justice data statewide.

In 2015, Florida tied California for the second highest population of incarcerated women in the United States. The facilities they live in are generally away from population centers, surrounded by rows of fences and razor wire.

A noted art collector and philanthropist has sold a major painting for an eye-popping $165 million to raise money for criminal justice reform.

Agnes Gund sold Roy Lichtenstein's 1962 work Masterpiece, reportedly to billionaire hedge fund manager and art collector Steve Cohen. The sale apparently took place months ago; an art industry newsletter reported on the transaction in January, but Gund would not confirm it.

Attorney General Pam Bondi and the head of Florida’s Juvenile Justice system are just some of the speakers at this year’s annual conference focusing on preventing crime in the black community.

Jury selection begins Monday in a criminal trial against comedian Bill Cosby on felony charges of sexual assault — and just a few hours into the process, it's evident that seating a jury is going to be a challenge.

Florida Inmates Write Poems For Their Mothers

May 8, 2017
Emily Michot / Miami Herald

In the family visitor’s lounge, under paintings of Disney cartoon characters, two-dozen incarcerated men at Dade Correctional Institution take turns walking up to a microphone to recite poems they wrote while in prison.

man's face
Miami Herald / WLRN

Death Row inmate Mike Lambrix has lost his appeal for a new sentence.

Lambrix was one of the subjects in the WLRN documentary Cell 1, where we looked at Florida’s death penalty and the limbo it was in for more than a year.

Will Convicted Felons Vote In Florida Soon?

Mar 6, 2017

Will convicted felons be allowed to vote again in Florida after completing their sentences?

That is the subject of a proposed constitutional amendment that could go to voters as early as the 2018 general election. Monday, the Florida Supreme Court reviewed the language of that amendment, moving it one step closer to the ballot.

Creative Commons via Flickr / Mark Goebel (https://flic.kr/p/5A7n4k)

A new bill under consideration by the Florida Legislature would make it easier for defendants to use the "Stand Your Ground" defense when faced with use of force charges. 

For years, Florida laws have  had provisions for self-defense immunity, protecting people who use force in self-defense from being prosecuted. There are certain restrictions on where and when you are justified in using various kind of force in self-defense.

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