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Today on Context Florida: Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Bernie Sanders, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton and Florida’s flawed death penalty

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Today on Context Florida:

Wake up Florida, says Ed Moore. Donald Trump is dangerous. More is taking one more swipe at Trump before the Florida primary, hoping (with all his heart) that fellow Floridians wake up Tuesday morning realizing they are being taken for a ride by one of the most negative people ever to seek public office.

You might think our British friends would be too busy freaking out over the refugee crisis, their epochal June 23 referendum on whether the UK will stay in the European Union, and the revelation that some London convenience stores are stocking bottles of cow urine right next to the milk, to take much notice of the 2016 American election. Diane Roberts says you’d be wrong. They’re riveted. Compelled. Appalled. Maybe terrified. In pubs and chip shops, at dinners and in schools and casual encounters in the supermarket cereal aisle, Britons grapple with the burning question: who’s worse, Ted Cruz or Donald Trump.

According to Martin Dyckman, the rap against Bernie Sanders, as propagated by Hillary Clinton’s media claque, is that he’s too progressive to be an effective president. They say he’s an idealist rather than a doer who never accomplished much in the Congress. So they say. Piffle, Dyckman responds. John F. Kennedy’s legislative record was short and thin. So was Barack Obama’s. They were elected because of their inspirational appeal to their fellow citizens.

The early-education link to good health, discussed by former First Daughter Chelsea Clinton, is not lost on Jacksonville’s business and nonprofit communities, Julie Delegal says. Florida Blue Insurance executive Susan Towler wrote in a letter published in the Times Union on the day of Clinton’s visit: “…early childhood education is an important prevention measure to improve long-term health outcomes.” It’s a theme that the Clinton Foundation’s “Too Small to Fail” initiative hammers home in its policy paper on the subject.

Despite the recently passed law, Martin Dyckman decries Florida’s death penalty process and is still flawed. Jurors must now identify, unanimously, any of the reasons — what the law calls aggravating circumstances — why a person they have convicted of a capital crime should die rather than serve life in prison. But it requires only 10 of the 12 jurors to agree that the defendant should die. That’s better than the old law, which let as few as seven recommend death and left the actual decision to the judge. The new law specifies life if there are not at least 10 votes for death. And the judge can still choose life even if the jury recommends death. So there should not be as many new death cases for the state Supreme Court to review.

Visit Context Florida to dig in.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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