criminal justice

florida mass violence public records
Terry Renna / AP

A bill exempting recordings of mass shootings from public record cleared the Senate Wednesday. The House version is headed to that chamber’s floor.

Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

Advocacy groups, formerly incarcerated people and those with family members who are serving time held a rally at the Capitol Wednesday. They came together to petition lawmakers for reforms to a criminal justice system they say is broken.

Savannah Parvu endured more than a decade of sexual abuse starting from when she was a child. Today, she's an advocate for survivors
Savanna Parvu / pintrist

Florida ranks among the top states for human trafficking and while there are no accurate figures as to the number of people involved in sex trafficking, experts say the state has a problem. But there are ways to mitigate it and the legislature appears keep on enacting most of them.

Jeff Binkley named the initiative after his daughter Maura, a victim of the Tallahassee yoga studio shooting in November.
Casey Chapter / WFSU

A new research initiative is looking at the intersection between gun violence and hate.

BigBendPBA.org

The Big Bend Police Benevolent Association's board of directors is retracting the chapter president's call for an investigation into Tallahassee Police Department Chief Michael DeLeo. The move comes a day after the group requested a probe.

school safety
Shawn Mulcahy / WFSU

The Florida Chamber of Commerce announced Wednesday its turning its sights to a new topic: public safety. It is bringing a coalition of leaders together to address school and workplace safety.

New England Patriots Owner Robert Kraft speaks to fans during the first half of an NBA All-Star basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, in Charlotte, N.C.
Chuck Burton / Associated Press (AP)

Prostitution charges for the owner of the New England Patriots and the former CEO of Citibank are just the surface of an investigation into a human trafficking ring in Central and South Florida. The arrests of 25 men including the two businessmen is once again drawing attention to sex trafficking in massage parlors.

Florida Supreme Court
Nick Evans / WFSU

The Florida Supreme Court is moving ahead with a plan to convene a statewide grand jury on school safety. 

world vide news/flickr

Florida was among the first states to pass mandatory minimum drug sentencing laws in 1979.

The Legislature loosened those requirements in 1993, then reinstated them six years later.  Now, a sweeping proposal of criminal justice reforms in Tallahassee would again make changes.

Florida Department of Corrections

Wardens from seven Florida prisons were at the Capitol Wednesday for a panel discussion with the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice, where they painted a picture of heightened stress and diminished safety for employees and inmates alike.

John Raoux / AP Photo

Thursday’s joint meeting of the Florida House Judiciary Committee and Criminal Justice Subcommittee brought up questions about the logistics of implementing Amendment 4.

Pizzo
Shawn Mulcahy / WFSU

Florida Democrats are looking to fill what they call a “gap” in the state’s hate crime law. 

amazon echo
Elaine Thompson / AP

With new technology like smart devices and facial recognition, lawmakers are weighing ways to balance privacy rights with law enforcement investigations.

Diimworks / Flickr

Victim rights protections under Marsy’s Law are now enshrined in the state Constitution. But many state agencies are struggling to interpret the broad language, most recently law enforcement.

Yuki Ho / Unsplash

January is designated as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. A recent case of trafficking in Leon County is prompting organizations to bring awareness to the issue.

The Grosmaire Family

Conor McBride is serving 20 years at Wakulla Correctional Institution for killing his fiancée, Ann Grosmaire, when they were both 19. It could have been a life sentence, but her parents asked the state attorney for less time. Now, Kate and Andy Grosmaire are helping to drive the expansion of restorative justice practices in Leon County.

As part of his agreement with the Grosmaires, whom he knew well after dating their daughter for three years, McBride cut this PSA for the Florida Restorative Justice Association.

"If you're in a relationship that seems out of control…if you feel like you're out of control…if you don't understand why you're doing it, why you're hurting the person you love or the person you love is hurting you, seek help. Please. Seek help."

AP

The Florida Clemency Board has unanimously pardoned four African American men known as the Groveland Four.

The men were accused of raping a white woman in 1949, but evidence suggests they were innocent.

marsy's law.org

Floridians voted to put protections for crime victims in the state constitution, but lawmakers and officials are grappling with how to put the measure into practice.

Ron DeSantis speaking at the podium.
Wilfredo Lee / AP

Advisers to Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis (R) are discussing school safety policy. This comes after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission published the first draft of its report.

Denise Williams’ attorney Ethan Way says there is  “not enough evidence” to support a guilty verdict against his client, Denise Williams. Williams was found guilty of murder, conspiracy and accessory after the fact on Dec. 14 in the death of her first husband Mike Williams 18 years ago. In court documents, Way is asking for a new trial.

It took a 12 member jury about eight hours of deliberations to return guilty verdicts on all three charges Denise Williams faced in the death of her first husband, Mike Williams, 18 years ago. Mike Williams disappeared the day of the couple's wedding anniversary and was initially presumed to have drowned and been eaten by alligators during a solo hunting trip at Lake Seminole.

A jury is weighing the fate of Denise Williams. She’s accused of planning the murder of her first husband 18 years ago. If convicted of the most serious 1st degree murder charge she could face life in prison. 

Florida Supreme Court
Nick Evans / WFSU News

The Florida Supreme Court has ruled that police officers qualify for immunity under the state’s Stand Your Ground Law. Previously, officers had a right to act with force, but could not seek immunity from prosecution.

Image of a lock in front of a computer screen with code
pixabay

Bitcoin scammers sent bomb threats to five Tallahassee businesses. The threats are under investigation, but the Tallahassee Police Department reports no bombs were uncovered.

The prosecution and defense in the murder trial against Denise Williams have wrapped up and the jury will hear closing arguments Friday morning. Williams is accused of planning the murder of her husband Mike Williams 18 years ago with his best friend, Brian Winchester. 

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