Criminal Law Blog & News
Check this page often for the latest in Florida criminal law info & crime history of the day!
On Thursday September 29. 2011, in an editorial entitled “ An Invitation to Overreach”, the New York Times joins the American Bar Association, the Judicial Conference of the United States , and every major organization focusing on criminal justice in opposing mandatory minimum sentences. The Times stated the rise in mandatory minimum sentences has damaged the integrity of the justice system , reduced the role of judges in meting out punishment, and has increased the power of prosecutors beyond their proper role.
On this day, September 30, in the year 1961, dozens of Colorado law enforcement officers from the Denver Police Department were arrested, stripped of their badges and firearms and hauled to jail for running a massive police burglary ring.
District Court of Appeal Requests Florida Supreme Court Decide Constitutionality Of Drug Law Quickly
In an opinion dated September 28, 2011, a Florida District Court of Appeal has certified that an appeal from a recent ruling finding Florida’s primary drug prossession statute unconstitutional involves an issue of great public importance that requires immediate resolution by the Florida Supreme Court. The appellate court’s certification is essentially a request that Florida’s highest court resolve issues recently raised about the constitutionality of Florida's drug statute as quickly as possible. The appellate court’s certification was entered as prosecutors in Manatee County Florida appealed Circuit Court Judge Scott Brownell’s dismissal of drug charges against forty-two defendants to the Second District Court of Appeal. Judge Brownell’s recent order finding Florida’s drug statute unconstitutional, as well as other similar recent court rulings, have been discussed previously in this blog and can be found here.
On this day, September 28, in the year 1973, a bomb was detonated at the IT&T (International Telephone & Telegraph) building in New York. The explosive device was placed in the company's Latin American section and caused extensive damage to several offices. No one was killed or injured. Another bomb was detonated that same day at IT&T's Rome headquarters.
On Monday, September 26, 2011, the New York Times reported in a front page story that as a result of decades of passing laws to increase punishments, prosecutors have gained greater leverage to extract guilty pleas from defendants which has dramatically reduced the number of cases proceeding to trial. The Times examined statistics from the National Center for State Courts and the Bureau of Justice Statistics which illustrate this trend towards lower trial rates
On this day, September 22, in the year 1975, U.S. President Gerald Ford survived a second assassination attempt. Sara Jane Moore attempted to shoot President Ford outside the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, just seventeen days after Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme had pointed a gun at the president.
On September 16th the Fifth District Court of Appeals declared Florida Statute 316.3045 (1 ) ( a ) unconstitutionally overbroad and found that it restricted the right of free expression. This ruling was consistent with a prior ruling of the Second District Court of Appeals from May of this year in a case styled as State of Florida v. Catalano 60 So. 3d 1139 ( Fla. 2nd DCA , 2011).
Following the lead of U.S. District Court Judge Mary Scriven, who found on July 27, 2011 that the provisions of Florida Statute 893.13 violated fundamental rights of due process (read the Shelton order here), two State of Florida Circuit Court Judges have now also ruled that Florida’s primary drug prohibition statute is unconstitutional. On August 17, 2011, Judge Milton Hirsch of the State of Florida’s Eleventh Judicial Circuit dismissed thirty-nine felony drug cases finding Florida Statute 893.13 violates due process and is unconstitutional. Read the Hirsch order here. Similarly, on September 14, 2011, Judge Scott Brownell of the State of Florida’s Twelfth Judicial Circuit, dismissed forty-two felony drug cases, finding that Florida Statute 893.13 is unconstitutional. Read the Brownell order here.
On this day, September 16, in 1920, a bomb in a horse-drawn wagon exploded in front of the J.P. Morgan building on Wall Street, killing 38 and injuring 400. At that time, the Wall Street bombing was considered one of the deadliest terrorist attacks ever upon civilians on American soil.
September 15, 1963 - Babtist Church in Alabama Bombed, Four Children Killed - Today In Crime History
On this day, September 15, in 1963 a bomb exploded at the Sixteenth Street Bethel Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, killing four children. The entire Sixteenth Street wall of the church building collapsed into a basement amid screams of horror and terror. The explosion at the African-American church marked a turning point in the U.S. 1960s civil rights movement and contributed to support for passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
September 14, 1974, “I Shot the Sheriff" Hits #1 On Billboard’s Top 100 Chart - Today In Crime History
On this day, September 14, in 1974, the song “I Shot the Sheriff” was named Billboard magazine’s number one single in the United States. While the song was written by reggae legend Bob Marley, it was Eric Clapton's version that achieved the top ranking in the music charts.