Law & Order

A push to alter Florida’s contentious ‘stand your ground’ law may be dead for the coming year, despite the high-profile support of several Republican legislators and gun rights groups, including the National Rifle Association.

A Florida House panel on Tuesday narrowly voted down a proposal to change the existing law and require prosecutors to prove a person on trial using the ‘stand your ground’ defense was not in fact acting in self-defense.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

USF forensic anthropologists are getting extra money to crack cold cases. 

They've been awarded a $386,537 grant from the National Institute of Justice - the research wing of the U.S. Department of Justice - to examine 50 unsolved cases. 

Proposals Would Provide Aid to Dozier Families

Nov 3, 2015
Pool/Edmund D. Fountain / Tampa Bay Times

Two Democratic lawmakers filed bills Tuesday that would direct the Florida Department of State to preserve historical resources from the shuttered Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys and to provide money to help families reinter bodies of children found at the Jackson County site.

The bills (SB 708 and HB 533), filed by Senate Minority Leader Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, and Rep. Ed Narain, D-Tampa, come after extensive excavation work by University of South Florida researchers at the former reform school.

Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement via AP

A Florida man was executed Thursday nearly three decades after he was convicted of fatally stabbing his ex-wife, young daughter and two in-laws.

Jerry Correll, 59, was pronounced dead at 7:36 p.m. at Florida State Prison after receiving a lethal injection. The execution came after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected his latest appeals. Correll is the 22nd inmate to be executed under Gov. Rick Scott — the most executions under a single governor since the death penalty was reinstated in Florida in 1979.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

While the University of South Florida football team celebrates its longest winning streak in five seasons, they're also dealing with the arrest of three players in as many weeks.

Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office

As the University of South Florida football team celebrated its third straight victory, another of its players was arrested early Sunday morning - the third this month.

According to a Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office report, Deangelo Antoine, 19, was arrested early Sunday morning on the Tampa campus and charged with a felony count of possession of a controlled substance.

Antoine, a freshman wide receiver, did not play in USF's 38-14 victory over Southern Methodist University Saturday.

Black Lawmakers Want Independent Review of Police Shooting

Oct 22, 2015
Brianna Soukup, AP Photo

Outrage over the fatal shooting of a Boynton Beach man by a Palm Beach Gardens police officer reached the state Capitol on Wednesday, as members of the black legislative caucus called for an independent review of the man's death.

They also called for legislation that would put safeguards in place for future incidents, including body cameras for law-enforcement officers, dashboard cameras for police vehicles and automatic reviews of all police-related shootings.

Manatee County Sheriff's Office / AP

The body of an 11-year-old girl who had apparently been missing for more than a year - though authorities say no one reported her disappearance or questioned her whereabouts - was found in a freezer that her mother left at the home of some family members, police said Monday.

"I'm really upset that we let this child down," Bradenton police Chief Michael Radzilowski said of Janiya Thomas.

Benjamin Brasch / The News-Press via AP

Police say a shooting at the annual ZombiCon gathering in Florida has left one person dead and five more injured, causing a chaotic scene that sent throngs of zombie-dressed revelers running through the streets.

The shooting happened around 11:45 p.m. Saturday night, just 15 minutes before the event officially ended. However, large crowds were still in the streets and authorities quickly cleared out nearby bars and set up crime scene tape, while others patrolled the area with rifles searching for a suspect.

Fl. Bar Board Kills Controversial Out-of-State Lawyer Proposal

Oct 17, 2015
Florida Bar

Reacting to heated outcry from its members, the Florida Bar Board of Governors on Friday unanimously killed a proposal that would have allowed out-of-state lawyers to get licensed without taking the state Bar's exam.

Bar leaders are hoping that the unanimous vote will help unite a legal community fractured over the controversial proposal, first floated by a committee that has since backed away from its recommendation that Florida adopt "admission by motion" for out-of-state lawyers, if they meet certain criteria.

Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office

Another USF football player has been arrested in connection with the discharge of a handgun on campus early Sunday morning.

Lamar Robbins, 22, of Miami,  has been taken into custody by university police. He was being held this morning at the Hillsborough County Jail with bail set at $8,000. Officials with the USF Bulls say Robbins has been suspended from all activities with the football team.

A new study from the University of South Florida indicates that body-worn cameras on law enforcement officers are an effective tool in reducing the number of use of force incidents.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida’s Sarasota Chapter sued the city and its police department recently. The suit is on behalf of six homeless men. It alleges local ordinances discriminate against the homeless.

The Obama administration deported fewer immigrants over the past 12 months than at any time since 2006, according to internal figures obtained by The Associated Press as Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton called Obama's deportation policies too harsh.

Scott, Cabinet Start Talks on Dozier Site Future

Sep 29, 2015
Edmund D. Fountain / Tampa Bay Times

Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet began discussions Tuesday on the future of the shuttered Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys, a former state-run reform school where children are alleged to have been abused and died.

However, no decisions were made as the state officials agreed to await a final report expected in January from University of South Florida researchers, who excavated the 1,400-acre site about 70 miles west of Tallahassee and continue to try identify remains.

Some Florida lawmakers are hoping to revive an effort that could change the role of State Attorneys prosecuting a “Stand Your Ground” case. And, some prosecutors are also against another bill giving judges more discretion in handing out mandatory 10-20-Life sentences.

Quincy J. Walters / WUSF News

The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating the Tampa Police Department for issuing thousands of tickets to bicyclists for minor infractions. About 80 percent of those cited are black. 

In response, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn created a citizen's review board to determine if incidents involving the police department were handled justly.

But some people are not satisfied with the mayor's approach. 

Champion family photo

Florida A&M University reached a $1.1 million settlement Friday with the family of a drum major who died after being hazed by fellow band members.

The university agreed to name the marching band's anti-hazing program after Robert Champion as well as place a memorial plaque dedicated to Champion on campus under the terms of the agreement reached with Champion's parents, according to settlement documents. Of the $1.1 million, $800,000 will be paid by an insurance company and $300,000 will be paid by the state Department of Financial Services.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has already processed thousands of concealed weapon license applications for active military members and veterans.

It'll be back in black for any Florida judge who wore a robe of a different color.