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Florida Department of Corrections

The Supreme Court has left in place a lower court ruling that said imposing a death sentence in Florida requires a unanimous jury.

The justices on Monday turned away an appeal from Florida officials seeking to overturn the ruling last year from the state’s highest court.

The Florida Supreme Court had struck down a newly enacted law allowing a defendant to be sentenced to death as long as 10 out of 12 jurors recommend it. That ruling concluded that Timothy Lee Hurst — convicted of a 1998 murder at a Pensacola Popeye’s restaurant— deserves a new sentencing hearing.

Wilson Sayre / WLRN News

Local officials are raising concerns about drug use at hurricane shelters, saying they aren't equipped to care for addicts, unaccompanied minors and others with other medical needs.

 

Nearly 16,000 people in nine counties from Indian River to Miami-Dade evacuated to shelters during Hurricane Matthew. Six evacuees seeking refuge at a Delray Beach high school during Hurricane Matthew overdosed on drugs as the dangerous storm approached South Florida. Bags brought to shelters by evacuees are typically not searched.

WMFE

A Florida medical marijuana dispensary says it is not violating state law by selling cannabis that could potentially be broken down and made into pot that can be smoked.

AP

Less than a day after skirmishes broke out in Spirit Airlines' Fort Lauderdale terminal because of canceled flights, a federal judge has sided with the carrier and ordered its unionized pilots to stop boycotting flights as part of a labor action.

District Judge William P. Dimitrouleas issued the order Tuesday, saying Spirit likely would win its lawsuit charging that the Airline Pilots Association was engaged in work slowdowns that violated federal law. The union has denied the accusation.

AP

Florida legislators have approved $83 billion in spending for the coming fiscal year and have officially ended their annual session.

The Senate on Monday voted 34-4 while the House's vote was 98-14. The budget heads to the desk of Gov. Rick Scott.

The session was supposed to end last week, but legislative leaders didn't reach an agreement on a new budget in time. State law requires the budget to be finished 72 hours before a final vote.

Associated Press

Florida legislators plan to take more than $1 million and 21 jobs away from a state prosecutor who announced she won't seek the death penalty any more.

Top Republicans announced the plan on Wednesday, the same day an association of Florida prosecutors said that Gov. Rick Scott can legally take away almost two dozen cases from State Attorney Aramis Ayala in Orlando for refusing to seek the death penalty.

Ayala has said previously that the planned $1.3 million cut and loss of jobs could severely impact her office's ability to prosecute crimes.

Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala has sued Gov. Rick Scott, challenging his ability to remove her from death penalty cases.
WMFE

Dozens of prosecutors and judges from around the nation have filed a legal brief in support of a Florida prosecutor who refuses to seek the death penalty.

The brief filed Friday with the Florida Supreme Court backs State Attorney Aramis Ayala’s right to decide not to seek capital punishment in cases in her district covering the Orlando area.

After Ayala recently announced her decision, Florida Gov. Rick Scott removed her from about two dozen death-penalty cases.

Ayala is challenging Scott’s authority to do that before the Florida Supreme Court.

AP

WASHINGTON — With President Donald Trump making his seventh presidential trip this weekend to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, government watchdogs and Democrats are once again seeing dollar signs: namely, $3 million.

That's a widely used estimate of what each journey costs taxpayers. The figure comes from a government report on a trip President Barack Obama made to Palm Beach, Florida, but the report's author tells The Associated Press that it's a mistake to apply those findings to Trump's travel.

A powerful panel that has the power to alter the Florida Constitution is getting down to work.

 

The Florida Constitution Revision Commission is holding its first meeting on Monday.

The 37-member panel meets every 20 years and is allowed to propose changes to the state constitution. The commission's amendments will go before voters during the 2018 election.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott appointed Carlos Beruff, a Manatee County homebuilder as chairman. Beruff challenged U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio in last year's election.

YOUTUBE / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Court documents show a Hillsborough County woman is set to plead guilty to threatening the parent of a boy killed in the 2012 mass shooting at a school in Newtown, Connecticut, because she thought it was a hoax.

 

A South Florida woman posing as a plastic surgeon has been sentenced to a year behind bars after authorities say she injured dozens of victims in botched procedures.

A plastic surgeon first tipped off authorities in 2014 after allegedly seeing at least 40 scarred and disfigured women who had been operated on by unlicensed doctors at the Health and Beauty Cosmetic Surgery Office in West Palm Beach.

Monica Daza was sentenced this month to a year in jail, 5-years' probation, and ordered to pay $75,000 in restitution.

A judicial official sided with Georgia in a decades-long dispute over water rights with Florida on Tuesday, recommending that the U.S. Supreme Court refuse Florida's high-stakes request to cap water use by its neighboring state.

Carl Juste / Miami Herald

Yoandri Pavot applied just in time for a visa under a recently scrapped U.S. policy that had long welcomed doctors from Cuba who defected while on assignment in third countries.

Pavot and other Cuban doctors arriving this week in Miami under the now canceled policy called the Cuban Medical Professionals Parole said they're relieved to be arriving despite uncertain times for immigrants under the Trump administration. But they're anxious about colleagues left behind.

How well do you know U.S. history? We dare you to try our test and figure out how much you really know about the traditions and customs around the official swearing-in of the president of the United States.

Associated Press

How well do you know Washington D.C.?

We take you on an interactive tour of the route that newly inaugurated president Donald J. Trump will follow from the Capitol building to the White House after his swearing in ceremony. 

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