crime

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Monroe County, which includes the Florida Keys, could soon follow Miami-Dade's lead in allowing civil citations for possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The measure would allow police officers discretion on whether to arrest someone on a misdemeanor charge or give them a civil citation, which can result in a fine. The Miami-Dade ordinance, which was approved last month, applies to possession of 20 grams of pot or less.

Wikipedia Commons

The Miami-Dade County commission voted Tuesday to allow civil penalties for certain misdemeanors, including possession of drug paraphernalia and up to 20 grams of marijuana.

Doug Hanks of the Miami Herald reports: 

Miami-Dade commissioners voted Tuesday to let police treat marijuana possession the same way they do littering and loitering — issuing a civil citation with a $100 fine that keeps the offense out of the criminal system.

Between the two, the Village of Bal Harbour and Glades County don't even have 16,000 residents. And yet, from 2009 to 2012, the Bal Harbour Police Department and the Glades County Sheriff's Office were behind an international, undercover money laundering sting operation that handled more than $55 million for drug cartels and other criminal organizations.

The state of Florida hadn't seen an operation of this magnitude in years.

Craigslist

A 23-year-old Miami man faces three felony counts and a misdemeanor charge after Monroe County Sheriff's Office detectives say he offered to sell "medicinal high grade top shelf" marijuana on Craigslist.

Keys detectives saw the listing on the online classifieds website. The post also included "a picture of a green leafy substance that appeared to be cannabis," according to Deputy Becky Herrin, spokeswoman for the Monroe Sheriff's Office.

FBI Files

In the early 20th century, kidnappings were a scourge on the nation.

The Charles Lindbergh baby kidnapping of 1932 epitomized a time of widespread fear -- the taking of the famous aviator's son resulted in the FBI's involvement, and later the Federal Kidnapping Act, granting the Bureau jurisdiction in these cases.

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A well-known Miami anti-violence activist is suddenly dealing with her own tragedy.

Tangela Sears' son, David Queen, 29, was fatally shot after an argument at his apartment complex in Tallahassee two weeks ago. A suspect has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder.

Queen was a Miami native. Sears is now trying to make sense of losing her only child to gun violence, the very thing she’s been fighting here for over a decade.

 

Luigi Caterino / Flickr Creative Commons

 

According to an FBI report released this week, almost all of the FBI’s experts who conducted microscopic hair analysis gave flawed testimony in criminal trials.

The error-filled testimony went on for more than two decades since 2000, according to the report, which is the largest post-conviction review in the history of the FBI.

The hair analysis was scientifically flawed, and in most cases bolstered prosecutors' cases against defendants, the report found. 

Miami Herald

  The Supreme Court will examine Florida's capital punishment system in its next term, and legal experts believe Florida's death penalty itself may be in danger.

A solution could be in a legislative fix now moving slowly through the Capitol in Tallahassee. It's been passed by one Senate committee but the House is showing little interest in the companion bill.

Creative Commons via Flickr / Boston Public Library (https://flic.kr/p/dm18Ao)

The Florida Supreme Court has reached a groundbreaking decision about inmates who were sentenced to mandatory life in prison without parole for crimes they committed while they were still kids.

The decision makes 2012's Miller v. Alabama apply retroactively. It was a U.S. Supreme Court decision that ruled mandatory life sentences without the opportunity for release were cruel and unusual.

For the past three years, 201 Florida inmates have been in a kind of limbo. They're inmates who were sentenced to life in prison without parole as juveniles before the Miller ruling.

Florida Roundup: Sensitivity In Classrooms

Mar 19, 2015
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  On the Florida Roundup, we talk to the area's journalists about the week's top stories.

2011 Memorial Day Weekend Shooting

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