Law & Order

Advocates say more conservative Republicans are seeing the wisdom of reforming minimum mandatory sentencing laws.

Florida lawmakers want to allow law enforcement officers to review their body camera footage before writing a report or making a statement.

Florida Highway Patrol

The Florida Highway Patrol says there were more than 100,000 hit and run crashes in the state last year alone.  That left more than 1,200 people seriously hurt.  Among them, a 13-year-old boy, from eastern Hillsborough County whose injuries will heal, but the driver who struck him is still on the loose. Highway Patrol Sergeant Steve Gaskins says people drive off for any number of reasons. 

A Florida judge is hearing evidence to determine whether a retired police officer acted in self-defense when he shot a man in a movie theater in 2014.


Polk Child Welfare Investigator Wanted On Drug Charges

Feb 21, 2017

Florida authorities are looking for a child protective investigator they say was dealing heroin and cocaine.


A "stand your ground" hearing will begin for a 74-year-old retired police captain accused of shooting and killing a man during an argument at a Florida movie theater.

Florida lawmakers seem likely to approve unanimous jury sentences for death penalty cases in the opening weeks of this year’s legislative session.  But some warn there could be another crisis around the corner.

Court Sides With Hospital in ‘PIP’ Dispute

Feb 17, 2017

The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday sided with a Jacksonville hospital in a battle with State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company about how much information the hospital should be required to provide about its charges.

Baxley Challenges Gun-Free Zones in Proposal

Feb 15, 2017

Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, has filed a bill which would allow more guns in public places. The measure is part of a broader push by Republican legislators to expand gun rights.

The suspect arrested for the January shootings inside the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport had been held just months earlier on a mental health evaluation in Alaska.

While Governor Rick Scott has said he supports making it harder for mentally ill people to have guns, no such proposal is on the agenda for the coming legislative session.

Michael Auslen in the Herald/Times Tallahassee bureau spoke with WLRN's Gina Jordan about the latest calls for action dealing with mentally ill people and guns. Listen to the interview here: 

A bill aimed at decreasing the number of juveniles charged as adults is still alive in the Florida Senate, after narrowly passing its first committee Monday.

Senate Criminal Justice Chairman Randolph Bracy (D-Ocoee) wants a more permanent death penalty fix.  But his committee has little interest in revisiting such a contentious issue.

Lawmakers Back Unanimous Juries In Death Cases

Feb 7, 2017

Florida juries would have to unanimously agree that defendants should be condemned to death for the sentence to be imposed, under a proposal given swift and overwhelming approval at its first Senate committee Monday.

Will a Stand Your Ground-related bill starting to move through the legislature have a disproportionate impact on minorities? While opponents of the bill appear to think so, supporters insist the bill is “color blind.”

A new bill under consideration by the Florida Legislature would make it easier for defendants to use the "Stand Your Ground" defense when faced with use of force charges. 

For years, Florida laws have  had provisions for self-defense immunity, protecting people who use force in self-defense from being prosecuted. There are certain restrictions on where and when you are justified in using various kind of force in self-defense.

Legislation by a St. Augustine lawmaker targeting illegal immigrants convicted of certain crimes in Florida barely made it out of a senate committee Tuesday.

Wife Of Pulse Gunman Arrested In California

Jan 16, 2017
Catherine Welch / WMFE

Authorities have arrested the wife of the gunman in the Pulse nightclub shooting. Noor Salman was arrested in California.

Orlando Police Chief John Mina said in a statement that the FBI took Salman into custody on charges of Aiding and Abetting by providing material support to a terrorist organization and Obstruction of Justice.

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Police are urging anyone with information on the suspect Markeith Loyd to call 1-800-423-TIPS. Do not approach the suspect, authorities say he is armed and dangerous. 

Police have named a suspect in the shooting of an Orlando Police Department officer Monday. Orlando Police say the officer has died, and a Sheriff’s Deputy was killed in a traffic accident during the manhunt.

The U.S. Justice Department on Monday moved to intervene in a nearly year-old lawsuit against the Florida Department of Corrections, alleging that the state's prison agency "systematically violates the rights of inmates with disabilities."

Last year’s Orlando attack—the worst mass shooting in modern American history—is prompting Governor Rick Scott to put millions of dollars in his proposed budget toward counterterrorism and intelligence efforts in Florida. Law enforcement agencies around the state are praising Scott’s decision.

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