law

One year ago this week, Jeff Sessions stood beaming in the Oval Office as he awaited his swearing-in as the 84th attorney general of the United States.

On that day last February, President Trump signed executive orders on violent crime and gangs, pledging that a "new era of justice begins." And, in the year that followed, Sessions has managed to transform the Justice Department, particularly in the areas of civil rights, immigration and drugs.

President Trump marks his first year in the White House on Jan. 20. Since he took the oath, he's been dogged by questions about his hundreds of businesses and the conflicts of interest they pose.

In attempts to confront Trump and force him to address these conflicts, congressional Democrats, state attorneys general and watchdog groups have sued the president. So far, their cases have not advanced very far in court. A federal judge has dismissed one suit.

Across the country, people have an estimated $10 billion  riding on the outcome of the men’s NCAA basketball championship.

Only a tiny part of that is being done legally, roughly 3 percent, according to the American Gaming Association. And while some states’ gambling laws are a bit gray, Florida’s gambling laws don’t leave a lot of questions on the matter.

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

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When we imagine laws and when talk about them, most of us probably don’t picture the paper they’re written on or the specific words used in them.

But most cities have an actual book of laws. A lot of words in the City of Miami’s version of that book refer to men. Thursday, the city is considering a measure that would replace those words with gender-neutral substitutes and print a whole new code book.

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Miami Herald / WLRN

Death Row inmate Mike Lambrix has lost his appeal for a new sentence.

Lambrix was one of the subjects in the WLRN documentary Cell 1, where we looked at Florida’s death penalty and the limbo it was in for more than a year.

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Nadege Green / WLRN

Miami-Dade Parents of Murdered Kids held a protest outside of the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office Thursday (Feb. 4).

The parents, frustrated over murder cases that remain unsolved or cases that fall apart, demanded State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle conduct stronger investigations and enforce longer sentences for violent criminals.

Fernandez-Rundle did not attend the rally, but here is her full statement to WLRN in response to the protest:

Florida's highest court on Tuesday will hear a case that may determine the fate of some 390 people on the state's death row. Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Florida's system for imposing the death penalty is unconstitutional.

Florida has an execution set for next week. The state's highest court now must decide whether it can go forward.

Florida Advocates Celebrate 25th Anniversary of Americans With Disabilities Act

Jul 24, 2015
Walter Michot / Miami Herald

Twenty-five years ago this week, the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law by President George H. W. Bush.

Among other things, the ADA prohibits discrimination against disabled people in the areas of employment, transportation, communications and public accommodations.

From restaurants to clothing stores and government buildings to baseball stadiums, businesses must reasonably accommodate people who have physical and mental challenges.

The silver anniversary was celebrated at the state capitol Friday.

Mark Stein / WLRN

Gov. Rick Scott signed four anti-human trafficking bills into law Thursday at a Hialeah ceremony, surrounded by advocates who gathered to highlight similar legislation passed earlier this year.

Scott said he was proud of the state’s efforts to combat human trafficking.

Miami Workers Call For $15 Minimum Wage

Jul 23, 2015
Eleonora Edreva / WLRN

 

Four press conferences held Thursday morning across Florida -- including one in Miami -- joined a recent cry to nearly double the minimum wage to $15. 

The push, spearheaded by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), comes on the heels of a recommendation from New York's governor-appointed Wage Board for a $15 minimum wage. 

A Florida woman jailed in a long-running dispute over her son's circumcision has been released after nine nights behind bars.

Heather Hironimus, 31, posted bond and was released at 10:18 p.m. Saturday, jail records show.

She's been portrayed as a martyr by anti-circumcision advocates around the country who have followed her case with rapt interest.

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09/02/14 - The United States is the only country in the world that routinely condemns children to die in prison.  On Tuesday's Topical Currents we look at the issue which is the subject of the POV documentary, “15 To Life: Kenneth’s Story.”  It’s the story of one of those children, Kenneth Young, now a young man, seeking a second chance in Florida.  A Supreme

David Anasagasti vs American Eagle Outfitters Inc

A popular Miami street artist is suing retail giant American Eagle Outfitters for using his murals in a global marketing campaign without compensating or crediting him.

Miami artist David Anasagasti, better known as Ahol Sniffs Glue, claims the retailer  used his artwork to sell its cut-off shorts and surfer T-shirts.

The artwork in question are the droopy eyeball-motif murals Anasagasti painted in Miami’s Wynwood Art District.

Ines Hegedus-Garcia / Flickr.com

A bill that would lead to better protections for cruise passengers has yet to move forward in Congress.

Last week, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a hearing on cruise passenger safety. The hearing was called by committee chairman and senator Jay Rockefeller from West Virginia, who sponsored the Cruise Passenger Protection Act. 

At the hearing, lawyer and International Cruise Victims Association board member Philip Gerson testified. He is the legal representative of a 15-year-old victim of rape on a cruise ship. 

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