An unarmed 18-year-old named Michael Brown was shot and killed by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer named Darren Wilson on August 9, 2014. This fatal incident was witnessed by several individuals, yet there is still conflicting accounts of what really occurred before Mr. Brown's life was taken. Not only has this tragedy raised issues about the relationship between police departments and their community, but it has also raised the question of whether more technology should be implemented by police officers to better document their encounters with individuals. A White House website petition has already acquired more than 100,000 signatures from people who think the answer to that question is yes.
Cody Dials is charged with first-degree murder in the death of David Rhea, 39, a commercial fisherman who lived in Pinellas Park. Recently, a gun that may have been used in the killing was discovered. The finding of this gun is bittersweet: it gave the prosecution a possible murder weapon, but it gave Cody Dials' attorney a possible conflict of interest.
In June 1989, three bodies were found floating in Tampa Bay. All three of the bodies had their hands and feet bound, as well as concrete blocks tied to their necks and duct tape placed over their mouths. These three bodies were identified as a mother, Joan Rogers, and her two daughters. The man who murdered these three people was executed in 2011. Now his DNA has been linked to a cold case.
The remains of 55 people were uncovered on the school grounds of the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys. The researchers at the University of South Florida announced that this number is 24 more than what was listed in the school records. Finally, relatives of some of these boys will be able to get the closure they have been seeking for decades. Currently, there have been no criminal charges filed.
While our overall crime rate has been declining for decades, it appears the opposite is true for one type of federal crime. Unfortunately, this criminal activity is officially sanctioned during FBI investigations, and it's on the rise. It's called "otherwise illegal activity" -- activity that would be illegal if it weren't committed by an FBI informant.
The testimony of a man accused of running an allegedly fraudulent Tampa charity called has been delayed due to the birth of his defense attorney's child . The 66-year-old defendant has been charged with theft, fraud and money laundering because, prosecutors claim, little of the $100 million raised over 8 years by the U.S. Navy Veterans Association was actually used to assist veterans. The trial should resume next week.
In Moore v. State, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D2184a (Fla. 2nd DCA 2013), a trial court order was reversed due to the fact that the trial court judge relied on outdated law.
When an eye-witness identifies a suspect to law enforcement, it rarely occurs from a line up of people through a large glass window, as commonly seen on television shows like "Law and Order." Witnesses will often identify a person from an assortment of six photographs, called a photopack. Often times, law enforcement will use a procedure in which a person's photograph will look different from all of the other photographs in the photopack.
In Missouri v. McNeely, 133 S. Ct. 1552 (2013), the United States Supreme Court held that in DUI investigations, the natural dissipation of alcohol in the bloodstream does not constitute an exigency in every case sufficient to justify conducting a blood test without a warrant.
Obtaining a new trial is often done through appeals/post-conviction motions. Pursuant to the Florida Supreme Court in Jones v. State, 27 So.3d 11 (Fla. 2010), in order to obtain a new trial based on newly discovered evidence, a defendant must meet two requirements. "First, the evidence must not have been known by the trial court, the party, or counsel at the time of trial, and it must appear that the defendant or defense counsel could not have known of it by the use of diligence. Second, "the newly discovered evidence must be of such nature that it would probably produce an acquittal on retrial.