State Attorneys of Florida

MGN Online

Florida lawmakers are holding off on a bill revising the minimum mandatory penalties for the trafficking of certain illegal drugs, after questions were raised in its first Senate hearing Monday.

Tampa Democratic Senator Arthenia Joyner says her bill allows a judge not to impose the three-year minimum mandatory penalty for a first offense of trafficking small amounts of illegal drugs, including cocaine or LSD. She says judges currently only have that discretion with juvenile offenders.

Florida Channel

Florida lawmakers say they’re not giving up on a failed effort to address juvenile sentencing reform. They’re responding to two U.S. Supreme Court decisions ruling juveniles cannot face a life sentence without the possibility of parole, even if they committed a serious felony or murder. But, the legislative effort to do that is contentious as some spar over whether these juveniles deserve a second chance.

Ex-Juvenile Offender Gets Second Chance

When Ellis Curry was 16-years-old, he was convicted of murder and armed robbery.

There’s now a bipartisan effort in the Florida Legislature to grant judges more flexibility when sentencing prescription drug offenders.  The measure passed through its first House Committee Tuesday, but attracted much opposition from state prosecutors and law enforcement officers. Bill supporters say it would allow people addicted to prescription drugs to get necessary drug treatment. But, others say the bill will roll back the progress made in recent years to halt the illegal flow of prescription drugs.

A bill has cleared its first stop in the Florida Legislature that would block law enforcement officers from seizing personal electronic devices, like cell phones, without a search warrant. But, opponents say moving the bill forward is a bit premature, while the very same matter is being looked at in the courts.

Under Florida law, law enforcement officers are allowed to search the property of a person who has been arrested without a search warrant.