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Prohibiting Access of Firearms to Minors in Florida

Introduction: Firearms in Florida Any list of pro-gun states in the US will have Florida on it. The Florida state gun-related laws and legislation protect the right of citizens to possess and use firearms as well as carry openly or concealed firearms. Furthermore, Floridians have the right to protect themselves with firearms as part of self-defense, referred to as Stand Your Ground. Regardless, the many protections that gun owners receive do not occlude the presence or enactment of limitations to protected rights. What the Stats Say If the stats are anything to go by, then the enactment of these limitations is for good reason. For example, in 2015 alone, at least 265 people received accidental gunshots from kids. Of this number, 83 of the accidental shootings were fatal. Scary and shocking are not the only adjectives that qualify this fact. The stats therefore point to a growing issue of domestic gun safety. The issue is of high importance, especially when current estimates state that 1.7 million children live in households where guns are either stored fully loaded or left unlocked and easily accessible. More chilling… Read More

Florida’s Death Penalty Sentencing System is Unconstitutional as per US Supreme Court Rule

The State of Florida has one of the highest death penalty rates in the country. This comes to no surprise as many of its citizens are some of the strongest proponents of capital punishment. However, the state is now facing a significant issue regarding death penalty, which may eventually lead to major amendments in their judicial system, after the United States Supreme Court ruled that the state’s death penalty sentencing system is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court is of the opinion that Florida’s current death penalty sentencing system is a direct violation of The Sixth Amendment, which proclaims that defendants have the right to a speedy and fair trial, and that the jury for said trial is impartial. The jury shall weigh the aggravating and mitigating circumstances and ultimately determine what sentence shall be given to the criminal. Florida’s current system, however, is different and is considered an outlier compared to the rest of the country as it gives more weight to a judge’s independent judgment instead of a jury’s decision, which could either be unanimous or non-unanimous, another outlier compared to most states. This means… Read More

Ban the Box | Ex-Felons and Employment

“Ban the Box” is seeking for ex-felons to have the right to be employed. This is argued to be one of the most helpful ways to keep them from going back to prison. In fact, when authorities talk about unemployment among convicted ex-felons, they also allude to recidivism. Recidivism is the act of a person committing the same crime again. It is directly proportional to the unemployment cases among those who have been in prison. Get A Job The answer is clear: For those who were sentenced to jail, find yourself a job and contribute to the good of society. However, it is not as easy as it seems. An ex-felon has hurdles that other job applicants with no criminal records don’t have. This is where the “Ban The Box” cry comes in. Whether Guilty or Not Guilty In America, more than 70 million have landed on the list of people who have violated the law, but not every one of them has been convicted. Many in the list were just arrested for having been implicated in a criminal case one way or the other.… Read More

Revenge Porn Bill – A “Hardcore” Assessment of the Law

It may be time for scorned lovers living in Florida to back off from toying with the idea of posting on the Internet, evidence of their once-heated moments. That practice should completely be done away with as the state’s governor, Governor Rick Scott, has already signed into law the Revenge Porn Bill, which makes it unlawful in the state to post “revenge porn” images and videos on the Internet. Florida became the 18th US state criminalizing the said offense. Currently, 23 states in the US have revenge porn laws. First Amendment People have different takes. To some, the bill allows encroachment into people’s business and privacy, particularly on the part of the violators. Furthermore, the bill may be limiting free speech enshrined in the First Amendment. Others think that the bill is good enough to limit harmful acts against unsuspecting ex-partners, stating that such acts can have longtime emotional, reputational, and psychological effects on the part of the victim. Many advocates lament the fact that the House session when the bill was put on the floor, ended too early for legislators to have a longer… Read More

Consumer Rights

In the quest for a better and more comfortable life, man has various types of technological gadgets. This has opened up the tech age on which we are part of now. Even if the technological era has made our life simpler, it also brought some disadvantages. It appears that some of the technologies we are enjoying today are also violating our legal right to privacy. Wearable Data Technologies: Harvesting Our Personal Information The popularity of biometric gadgets that people are wearing today might not raise some red flags. The influx of such gadgets is seen by many as a blessing. This is because they can monitor everything about their bodies: pulse rate, metabolism, sleep patterns, and many other things. A lot of these data are stored up in the “cloud” where access can be enjoyed anytime. The alarming thing about this is that with the correct skill and resources, anybody can pry into such private data. Of course, there are also other wearable technologies out there that leave us craving for better levels of privacy. New Generation Television Units as Monitoring Devices Just a few… Read More

Tattoos and Rap

Several members of the Latin Kings gang were arrested in Florida for racketeering and other charges. 23 of its members were incriminated in the process of indictment, as associates of one of the biggest and most well organized gangs in the country. The trial sparked controversy and great surprise when the most powerful evidence presented for the case included gang-related tattoos, symbols, and handshakes. People asked, was this a violation of the First Amendment – the right to free speech? Criminal Procedures Guided by Federal Rules Courts are bound by Federal rules of criminal procedure when evaluating and determining when and how they can use evidence in a case. Some submitted evidences may bear insignificant probative value but the defendant may find it highly detrimental to his defense. One example is: a defendant that was arrested for beating up a neighbor does not immediately prove that he also stole a different neighbor’s car. While these two events were unrelated and does not necessarily have bearing for the defendant, the mere presence of sharing the first crime’s incidence with the jury will put the defendant at… Read More

How Far Can The Government Go In Freezing Untainted Assets of Individuals Charged With Crimes?

The constitution basically provides protection for an individual who has been arrested for committing a crime. There are rights that remain effective even before court procedures commence. Because freedom is at stake in the process, the 5th and 6th Amendment ensures that an individual will have legal assistance. An accused can choose the attorney to represent him most especially if he has the financial capacity to do so. The close relationship between an accused and his attorney is important for the success of the defense. It has been proven over and over again that those who have no choice but to be contented with state-provided attorneys lose in court battles. This is due to the fact that such lawyers are often burdened by a lot of work brought by too many cases they are handling. How A Criminal Defendant’s Assets Are Frozen Asset freezing can be ordered by the government if the crime committed by an individual falls under the “white collar” category. The logic here is easy to see. Since white collar crimes involve money, the monetary assets of an accused are basically evidences… Read More

Supreme Court Issues Decision on Felon Firearm Transfer Policy

Just recently, a longstanding debate on the issue of felon’s gun transfer rights has been settled. It can be recalled that gun possession and transfer rights of convicted individuals have been the highlight of some legal battles. According to the US Supreme Court, there is a specific federal law that prevents felons from owning and selling guns. However, an exception clause gives them a bit of leeway. They are allowed to transfer gun rights to third parties on the condition that they will waive direct or indirect influence on the items sold. Gun Ownership by Florida State Convicts Florida state laws clearly explain the rights of convicts on gun ownership. After they have served their time in jail, their rights to own any type of weapon and ammunition will not be automatically restored. This right must be granted by the Office of Clemency of the state covering the Offender Review division. When a clemency decision has been issued, an ex-convict will get his or her weapons rights back. There are efforts to make applications for clemency and rights restoration procedure easier. Such procedures used to… Read More

Faulty Instructions for Juries Lead to Plea Deals and Retrials in Florida

The way a law is interpreted is much more important than the said law itself. In case that a law is written confusingly, the jury might misinterpret the law and make decisions that were not intended by the author of the law. Due to that, a criminal defendant might receive a faulty verdict. A criminal might be freed or an innocent man might be punished. Florida has been a prime witness in such faults. For 15 years, almost 100 attempted murder and/or murder convictions have been scrapped due to the state’s faultily written Manslaughter by Act. Most of the convictions have resulted to plea agreements and new trials. The Problematic Manslaughter by Act Manslaughter by act is an event wherein one person murdered another through an unlawful action against the victim, but the person who killed did not have any intentions of killing. For example: Two men are in a fistfight. Man A punches Man B, and Man B falls on the ground, which resulted to Man B’s head hitting the floor and dying of brain injury and other complications. Hence, Man A will be… Read More

Does the Punishment Fit the Crime?

Bored, alone, and bound to a wheelchair due to an illness, Ronald, who is already in his fifties, spends most of his time indoors. He is a fairly good and responsible guy, so occasionally, a family member, neighbors, and friends would drop by to check on him, help tidy up his scruffy apartment and give him food and groceries. However, because there was very little to do and he was so bored, he spent most of his time surfing the internet. Because the internet is a world without boundaries, he eventually explored adult pornography and started looking at teenage models and child pornography. He then met someone online whom he exchanged files with on child pornography, not knowing that his activities are already being monitored. He was arrested and was charged with a criminal case for possessing and distributing adult pornography files. It was an automatic five years imprisonment. Now, he is housed in a federal prison under special housing conditions because he is bound in a wheelchair. And because of his illness, he is also undergoing expensive medical services. All of these expenses are… Read More