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Law & Order

As he eyes a run for the U.S. Senate, Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday unveiled the first piece of his pending election-year budget proposal: a $30 million pay raise for state law-enforcement officers.

The Department of Justice is promising a return to the law and order enforcement policies of the war on drugs.  Some Republican lawmakers are worried those policies might undermine state laws.

A federal lawsuit is challenging Florida's policy of isolating all death row prison inmates in solitary confinement indefinitely.

Florida has one of the largest prison populations in the U.S. As of 2016, there were 99,000 people incarcerated in the state. The number peaked in 2011 with roughly 102,300 people in prison.

Wikimedia Commons

It's happening again, and may happen more and more.  A death sentence has been overturned in Florida, because the sentence was imposed under a state law that is now unconstitutional. 

The Hamptons condo and apartment complex in Tampa is quintessential Florida. Lush and modern, the stucco homes are painted in a soft rainbow of pastels. All around are palm trees, Spanish moss and lily pads.

"It is a very quiet place. You have a lot of children that live here. A lot of professionals live here, retirees," said resident Michael Colon, 66.

But on May 19, that tranquility was shattered in an improbable case that involves four young roommates at the complex.

Two of the men are dead and the other two are in jail.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Tampa is in the market for a new police chief as of Thursday, after Eric Ward submitted his resignation.  The city will now start a nationwide search for a successor.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has scheduled the state's first execution in more than 18 months.

Executions have been on hold in Florida since the U.S. Supreme Court deemed parts of the state's sentencing procedure unconstitutional in January 2016.

That same month, Scott first signed a death warrant for Mark Asay, as member station WFSU reported. Now, "in a letter to the prison warden, Scott is setting Thursday, August 24 for Mark Asay's execution."

The Florida lawmaker who authored this year’s changes to Florida’s Stand Your Ground law says the legislature does have the right to update the law. It’s in response to a judge’s ruling Monday declaring the revised version unconstitutional.

A new law takes effect Saturday that would allow a state law enforcement agency to better conduct investigations into the treatment of Florida prison inmates.

Governor Rick Scott has signed a bill into law that’s meant to be an update to the Victims of Wrongful Incarceration Act. The aim is to help exonerees have an easier time receiving compensation for a wrongful conviction. It’s because over the past decade, few have been compensated due to a provision that blocks those with a prior felony record.

Group Of Lawyers Backing Challenge To Anti-Hazing Law

Jun 26, 2017

A statewide organization of criminal defense attorneys wants to support a former Florida A&M University band member in his challenge to the constitutionality of a state anti-hazing law.

Scott Signs ‘Stand Your Ground’ Change

Jun 12, 2017

A measure changing the state's controversial “stand your ground” self-defense law was among 16 bills that Gov. Rick Scott signed into law late Friday.

Governor Rick Scott recently signed a bill into law requiring autism awareness training for Florida’s law enforcement officers. But, some may not see the merits of the new law—that gained traction after a high profile incident last year.

Renata Sago

A disgruntled former employee opened fire Monday inside a Florida awning manufacturer, killing five workers before killing himself, authorities said.

Attorney General Pam Bondi and the head of Florida’s Juvenile Justice system are just some of the speakers at this year’s annual conference focusing on preventing crime in the black community.

The U.S. Supreme court’s silence on Florida’s appeal settles it:  capital cases in the state require unanimous jury sentences.  But many are dubious about how state courts are applying the standard to previously settled cases and state officials remain uncertain of how far the changes reach.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee has announced he plans to retire at the end of September.

In a letter to employees Friday, Gee called it one of the most difficult decisions of his career. He also thanked them for their service and said he's retiring to devote his time to his family.

Open government advocates are urging Governor Rick Scott to veto a measure that would seal nearly three million criminal records from public view.

The bill started as a non-controversial proposal to crack down on internet publishers of police booking photos. But Sarasota Republican Greg Steube quietly added an amendment on the Senate Floor.

“This amendment addresses the concerns from FDLE and would enable the department to administratively seal the criminal record of a person found not guilty or where the charges against that person have been dismissed.”

Governor Rick Scott has signed a body-camera related bill into law. But, while it has the support of Florida law enforcement groups, others continue to have reservations.

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