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Florida Public Defender Association.

Florida Campaign for Criminal Justice Reform formed as Legislative Session formally begins

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With numerous criminal justice reform bills already moving through Florida House and Senate committees this year, a nonpartisan coalition called The Florida Campaign for Criminal Justice Reform announced Monday its formation on the eve of the 2017 Legislative Session. The Florida Campaign for Criminal Justice Reform includes the Southern Poverty Law Center, ACLU of Florida, Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops, League of Women Voters, R Street Institute, Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Florida Public Defender Association, Florida Legal Services, Florida Immigrant Coalition, New…

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Public defender: Fees for pleas lead to unequal justice

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

Criminal defendants in three central Florida counties often face a stark choice, a public defender says: Pay hundreds of dollars in fees that help fund the prosecutors’ office, as a condition of reaching a plea deal, or face trial and risk stiffer punishment. Now public defender Rex Dimmig says that the practice creates unequal treatment for the criminal justice system’s poorest defendants. “My office only represents indigent people, and they ought to be entitled to the same punishment for the…

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Jeff Brandes says Florida’s policy on drivers license suspensions is broken, wants it reviewed

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Last month, the Miami Herald reported that the majority of motorists in Florida who have had their drivers licenses suspended in recent years is not because they’ve been cited for driving while under the influence, but simply for failing to pay fines. Failure to pay such fees accounted for 77 percent of all license suspensions from 2012 through 2015, the paper learned. The story showed how Miami-Dade County’s coffers have benefited from the flow of new revenues, but have also led to…

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