criminal justice

Woman stands with her hands to the air like she's on a roller coaster. Others are behind her holding signs with words that spell, "Fund Corrections Pay Plan."
PHIL COALE / AP Photo

The Florida Department of Corrections is asking state legislators to increase its budget so it can address long-standing issues with the treatment of correctional officers and prisoners.

Pastor Julius McAllister discuss mental health and substance abuse
LHatter / WFSU News

A vote to create a new marijuana civil citation program in Leon County failed in a tie Tuesday. One of the commissioners dialed into the meeting and local rules say a caller can’t break a tied vote.

Sigfredo Garcia speaking to his attorney Saam Zangeneh during the trial for FSU Professor Dan Markel.
Alicia Devine, Pool / Tallahassee Democrat

Jurors have recommended life without parole for Sigfredo Garcia, the man convicted of killing former Florida State University law professor Dan Markel.

Ruth Markel speaking to jurors about who Dan Markel was and what his death means to her family.
Tori Schneider, Pool / Tallahassee Democrat

Monday. Jurors heard from Ruth Markel the mother of slain FSU Professor Dan Markel. They’re considering the sentence for his killer Sigfredo Garcia who faces the death penalty for his involvement in a so-called murder for hire plot that took place in 2013.

Photo by Panos Sakalakis on Unsplash

Leon County commissioners are looking into a plan to give people more leniency when they’re caught with small amounts of marijuana. The commission will take up a draft civil citation ordinance during its meeting Tuesday afternoon.

Sigfredo Garcia speaking to his attorney Saam Zangeneh during the trial for FSU Professor Dan Markel.
Alicia Devine, Pool / Tallahassee Democrat

A Tallahassee jury says Sigfredo Garcia is guilty for his role in the 2014 murder of Florida State University Law Professor Dan Markel. But they couldn't reach a decision on his co-defendant and ex-girlfriend, Katherine Magbanua. 

Katherine Magbanua listens to testimony in the murder trial for FSU Professor Dan Markel. She's facing life in prison if convicted in the case. (October 3,2019)
Alicia Devine / Tallahassee Democrat (pool)

Jurors are now weighing a decision in the murder trial for former Florida State University Professor Dan Markel. State Attorney Georgia Cappleman and defense attorney Chris DeCoste went head to head during the closing remarks. 

Katherine Magbanua speaking to her attorney Tara Kawass Thursday, Sept. 27, 2019, in Tallahassee, Florida, during the murder trial for Markel's death.
Alicia Devine, Pool / Tallahassee Democrat

Closing arguments are being heard in the Dan Markel murder trial.

The FSU law professor was shot to death in the garage of his midtown Tallahassee home five years ago.

Prosecutor Georgia Cappleman spent the morning laying out a case against Markel’s former in-laws and their connection to the defendants, Sigfredo Garcia and Katherine Magbanua.

“It’s relevant for you to understand the role all these people played, the motive for this crime, in order for make a determination about the guilt of the two folks who are on trial here today," she told jurors.

Katherine Magbanua says she had nothing to do with the 2014 murder of a Florida State University Law Professor. She took the stand Wednesday on the 9th day of the trial for slain law professor Dan Markel.

Katherine Magbanua listens to testimony in the murder trial for FSU Professor Dan Markel. She's facing life in prison if convicted in the case. (October 3,2019)
Alicia Devine / Tallahassee Democrat (pool)

Defense attorneys are picking apart the state’s evidence in the trial for the two people accused of murdering Florida State University Law Professor Dan Markel in 2014.  The attorney for one of the defendants says say their client wasn't involved, and that the state has unfairly cherry-picked evidence in the case.

Katherine Magbanua speaking to her attorney Tara Kawass Thursday, Sept. 27, 2019, in Tallahassee, Florida, during the murder trial for Markel's death.
Alicia Devine, Pool / Tallahassee Democrat

Prosecutors in the murder trial for Florida State University law Professor Dan Markel say his former in-laws and the people accused of the slaying discussed the plot in code across a series of text messages and phone calls.

Katherine Magbanua speaking to her attorney Tara Kawass Thursday, Sept. 27, 2019, in Tallahassee, Florida, during the murder trial for Markel's death.
Alicia Devine, Pool / Tallahassee Democrat

A Leon County jury heard testimony about cell phone calls and bank records as the murder trial for a slain Florida State University law professor continued on its 6th day. 

A woman in a gray suit and glasses sits in a courtroom
Tallahassee Democrat (pool)

Prosecutors in the murder trial for a slain Florida State University law professor are focusing on the ties between the people accused of killing him, and his ex-wife’s family. Markel was entangled in a bitter child custody fight at the time of his death. 

A man in dark colored scrubs with a white t-shirt sits on the witness stand in a Leon County courtroom
Alicia Devine, Pool / Tallahassee Democrat

Luis Rivera testified for two days in the murder trial for Florida State University Dan Markel. He’s pled guilty to murder in exchange for a 19-year sentence in the case.

Jeffrey Lacasse, Wendi Adelson's ex-boyfriend, testifying during trial for slain FSU Professor Dan Markel.
Tori Schneider, Pool / Tallahassee Democrat

The third day of the trial for FSU Professor Dan Markel who was shot down in his driveway is taking place today at Leon County’s Courthouse. Wendi Adelson is Dan Markel’s ex-wife. Jeffrey Lacasse, who she was dating around the time of the murder, testified today. Many contradictions were noticed between what he and Wendi Adelson who testified Friday had to say.

Leon County Courthouse
Tom Flanigan / WFSU-FM

The trial for the slaying of Florida State University Law Professor Dan Markel is underway. Here's a primer on what the case is about, and what to expect when lawyers and defendants return to the courtroom Tuesday. 

Wendi Adelson, Dan Markel's ex-wife, takes the stand during the murder trial to for Markel's death.
Alicia Devine, Pool / Tallahassee Democrat

The second day of testimony in the murder trial of Florida State University Professor Dan Markel featured Wendi Adelson, his ex-wife. She confirms the two were entangled in a custody battle over their two children prior to Markel’s death.

Markel
FSU College of Law

After days of narrowing down jurors from roughly 200 down to 12, opening statements began Thursday in the murder trial of Florida State University professor Dan Markel. 

Gov. Rick Scott, Broward Superintendent Rob Runcie and Broward Sheriff Scott Israel discuss Parkland school shooting.
PBS NewsHour screenshot

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis maintains suspended Broward Sheriff Scott Israel failed in his department’s response to the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. This, despite a recent ruling by a special master that says DeSantis didn’t prove Israel’s policies and training were inconsistent with state law enforcement standards.

A white powder on a piece of silver foil
Federal Drug Enforcement Agency / DEA

As Florida continues battling an opioid abuse crisis, another, largely forgotten drug has ramped up in North Florida—meth. Its low cost and relative ease of access, is making it harder for local law enforcement agencies to control.

Man rests elbows on window panel and he looks out
Priscilla Du Preez/Unsplash

The Florida Legislature has wrapped up its first week of meetings ahead of the regular session that begins in January. Lawmakers took time during their first Committee Week to consider the causes of mass violence and how mental illness could play a part. Those discussions came amid a request for more mental health funding for schools.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement says its done processing more than 8,000 untested rape kits. The announcement comes three years after a state assessment first revealed the backlog. 

row of parked cars in parking garage
Photo by wang ward on Unsplash

Tallahassee Police says 53 guns were stolen from cars over the past 2-and-a-half months.  Most of those cars were unlocked, and police officers say the majority of those guns were likely stolen by teens.

Florida Democratic Party Chair Terrie Rizzo speaking against Attorney General Ashley Moody's attempt to block the assault weapons ban.
Blaise Gainey / WFSU-FM

Attorney General Ashley Moody is asking the Florida Supreme Court to block a proposed assault weapons ban from going in front of voters. Moody claims the proposed constitutional amendment is misleading and deceitful. Now Democrats are pushing back.

The words "it's no joke" are printed over newspaper clipping about arrests being made for school threats.
Florida Department of Juvenile Justice

The state wants kids to understand the trouble they can get into by making school threats. So, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice has launched an awareness campaign called “It’s No Joke.”

Nearly 800 Florida kids were charged with offenses related to school threats in the last fiscal year.

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