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juveniles

Helping kids who make mistakes: Florida considering 2 ideas

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There’s widespread agreement between lawmakers, law enforcement and child advocates that the state can do more to help juveniles who make stupid mistakes to stay out of trouble and avoid a criminal record that could follow them the rest of their lives. But what approach it should take is still a matter of disagreement. “Everybody’s heart is absolutely in the right place wanting to decriminalize being a youth in Florida, it’s just a matter of how to go about it,”…

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Juvenile justice reform bill heads to House after significant changes

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After several significant changes, SB 314, which initially placed numerous restrictions on prosecutor’s ability to unilaterally charge juveniles as adults, is now moving to the House. Sponsored by Miami Republican Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, the bill will continue to give broad discretion to prosecutors, as well as instituting more accountability and reporting requirements. Originally, the measure proposed a two-tiered system to restrict so-called “direct file” to serious crimes and protect younger children from the process As reported by…

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Florida Supreme Court orders new sentences in juvenile cases

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A 33-year-old woman serving life without parole for the murder of a Panama City-area cab driver when she was 15 will get a new sentence under a ruling by the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday. The court ordered new sentencing hearings for Rebecca Falcon and three other people who committed felonies as juveniles in order to comply with U.S. Supreme Court rulings that say juveniles can’t be sent to prison for life if they haven’t killed someone and mandatory life-without-parole…

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