Courts

Daniel Rivero / WLRN

Cheers erupted in a Miami-Dade County courtroom on Friday, as more than a dozen people with felony convictions had their right to vote restored by a judge.

The mass court hearing was part of a brand new process created by the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida, along with Miami-Dade’s offices of the State Attorney, the Public Defender, and the Clerk of Courts.

Cruz
Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP / WLRN

Attorneys defending Nikolas Cruz are hoping to speak to people from Henderson Behavioral Health about their impressions while treating Cruz in years prior to the 2018 Parkland school shooting. 

 

Inside the courtroom the defense argued that if they are unable to speak with witnesses informally - that means without the state present - they would be “ineffective” in representing him against the death penalty. 

For 25 years, schools, hospitals and places of worship have effectively been off-limits to federal immigration officers. Now, a group of dozens of former state and federal judges is asking U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to add courthouses to the list of "sensitive locations" where their officers generally do not go.

Trust in the institutions that have been the pillars of U.S. politics and capitalism is crumbling.

That is one finding from the latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, which shows that Americans have limited confidence in its public schools, courts, organized labor and banks — and even less confidence in big business, the presidency, the political parties and the media.

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.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

A Key West man charged with attempting to use a backpack bomb and trying to help ISIS went on trial in U.S. District Court Monday.

"This is a case of a man who believed in the ideals of ISIS, or ISIL," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Marc Anton in opening arguments, calling Harlem Suarez, 25, "an individual who was obsessed with ISIS and set on violence."

Suarez's attorney said his client's Facebook posts were "just talk and no action" and that he only took any steps toward action after "persistent pressure and intimidation" from undercover federal operatives.

What’s With All These Judges' Races?

Aug 26, 2016
Creative Commons via Flickr / Joe Gratz (https://flic.kr/p/bkUna)

As South Florida voters go to the polls this week during early voting or at your precinct on election day Tuesday, you’ll see a bunch of judicial races listed on your ballot:

Miami-Dade 11th Judicial Circuit Judge Groups 9, 34, 52, 66 and 74;

Broward 17th Judicial Circuit Judge Groups 9, 15, 23 and 24

Palm Beach 15th Judicial Circuit Judge Groups 1 and 4

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Miami-Dade County Judge Groups 5, 7, 15 and 35

Monroe County Judge Group 3

Broward County Judge Groups 2, 3, 7, 8, 13, 14 and 21

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jose "Pepe" Diaz was acquitted Wednesday in Key West of a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Diaz was arrested last September after Key WestpPolice officers clocked him going 74 mph on his motorcycle on a road with a 30 mph speed limit.

Officers pulled over Diaz and had him perform field sobriety exercises that were captured on body and dashboard cameras. Diaz refused a breathalyzer test.

Death Penalty In Florida Aired In High Court

Oct 15, 2015
Doug Smith / Florida Department of Corrections

Florida was in the spotlight again for its death penalty procedure this week when the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments about the way the Sunshine State hands down death sentences.

In Florida, Alabama and Delaware, juries can recommend the death penalty if more than half the jurors agree; In other states, either the jury decision has to be  unanimous or  a jury isn't used at all in sentencing.

Flickr Creative Commons: 3D_Judges_Gavel Wikimedia: Flag
Ilustration: Nadege Green / WLRN

The Miami-Dade Public Defender’s office has released a manual for the local community that explains the  consequences of having a conviction, or pleading guilty in Florida.

Months-Long Circumcision Battle Coming To Close

May 20, 2015
Broward County Sheriff's Office

Heather Hironimus has filed suit, gone into hiding and, ultimately, wound up in jail trying to stop her 4-and-a-half-year-old son's circumcision. The Sun Sentinel reports the South Florida mother dropped her federal lawsuit Wednesday.

In 2012, Heather Hironimus and her son's father, Dennis Nebus, signed a parenting plan that included an agreement to have their son circumcised.