Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Investigation Continues into Miami Beach Police Tourist Shooting

Investigation Continues into Miami Beach Police Tourist ShootingOn June 14, a Virginia man was shot and killed by police officers in Miami Beach. Prior to this unfortunate incident, Husien Shehada was at a nightclub with friends and family. After returning to their hotel at about 4:30 a.m., Shehada and his brother decided to go back out. While walking down the street, police received calls informing them that it appeared Shehada and his brother were carrying firearms. When police arrived on the scene they ordered the two men to stop and put and their hands up. Immediately thereafter, police shot and killed Shehada. His brother claims they both stopped, but police state otherwise. An investigation has been launched to determine whether this shooting was justified. I’ll keep a close eye on this one as the investigation progresses.

Friday, June 26, 2009

US Supreme Court Strengthens Sixth Amendment Rights

Sixth Amendment, Federal Criminal Defense Appeals, Florida Criminal DefenseOn June 25, 2009 the US Supreme Court released an opinion which strengthens our Sixth Amendment rights. The Sixth Amendment states that the accused have a right to confront witnesses brought against them. Building on Crawford v. Washington, the Court in Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts held that forensic lab analysts who perform tests on suspected drugs must testify in person to allow for cross-examination. Prior to this decision, some states wouldn’t allow lab analysts to testify in court and simply used a signed, notarized copy of their reports to be submitted into evidence without undergoing cross-examination.
This decision is of great importance because it ensures that the accused are able to confront all witnesses brought against them. The Court recognized the value of distilling the truth in the crucible of cross-examination. Further, the ruling gives defense attorneys greater procedural leverage in plea negotiations. Defense attorneys have a new tool to use when representing their clients.

US Supreme Court Strengthens 6th Amendment Rights

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Crist Vetoes Insurance Legislation

Governor Crist just put great hindrance on large property insurance companies wanting to write policies in Florida, on Wednesday. Crist vetoed a bill that would have encouraged these insurance companies to insure property owners in Florida. The legislation would have relaxed the current regulations and allowed the big insurance companies to increase policy premiums. Christ’s has stated that he vetoed the bill to keep insurance rates affordable for Floridians.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Florida Crack Down On Illegal Prescription Drug Market

Florida Criminal Defense D.U.I. Illegal Prescription Drugs Criminal DefenseFlorida will no longer be one of twelve states without a prescription-monitoring program. Governor Charlie Crist signed a legislation that will require pharmacists and doctors to record patient prescriptions for most drugs in a state-controlled database. Pain clinics will now be required to register with the state Department of Health, and will also have to undergo annual inspections. This new law will help authorities locate individuals who go to multiple doctors in an attempt to get illegal amounts of pills. Prior to this legislation, Florida attracted many drug addicts and dealers looking for large amounts of painkillers because there was little oversight of doctors providing these prescriptions.

With new law, Florida can crack down on illegal prescription drug market

Thursday, June 18, 2009

New DNA Law Affects Anyone Charged With Felony

DNA Law Affect Anyone Charged With FelonyOn June 16, 2009, Gov. Charlie Crist signed a new Florida law that allows police to take a DNA sample, such as a mouth swab, from every individual charged with a felony. The new law will allow the state to add the sample to a state database even if the charge is ultimately dismissed. Under current law, DNA samples can only be taken after a conviction of a felony or specified misdemeanors. The new law will be phased in over the next 10 years. The ACLU may challenge the new law as government expands its intrusions into “the people.”