Legislature gives murder witnesses some protection by shielding their identity

Herald/Times Tallahassee

With overwhelming support from the Florida Senate on Thursday, a proposal that affords new protections for murder witnesses — heavily inspired by ongoing gun violence in Miami-Dade County — will go to Gov. Rick Scott’s desk and possibly become law. HB 111 passed the Senate by a 34-3 vote, similar to the near-unanimous show of support the bill received in the House late last month.

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34 States Have Changed Laws on Policing in Two Years

Crime and Justice News

A new report (http://vera.us8.list-manage.com/track/click? u=6542df2be696ba0ea2f17b66a&id=1edebdc1f3&e=0516672a69)  from the Vera Institute of Justice says there has been a “significant uptick in states’ actions around policing, including clarifying and improving policies around use-of-force and misconduct cases and improving tracking of police operations around the use of body-worn cameras.” Thirty-four states and the District of Columbia made at least 79 changes to their laws on policing in the last two years, compared with fewer than 20 bills total in the prior three years.

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How Seattle police, local prosecutors address and investigate hate crimes

Evan Bush Seattle Times

In a classroom spotted with colorful hijabs, Seattle police Detective Beth Wareing stands in front of whiteboard and asks the group of 25 refugees what the police were like in the countries they emigrated from.

“From what I’ve heard, police are not the people you call for help,” she says.

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Why Solving Old Murders Can Help Prevent New Ones

The Crime Report James M. Adcock

When “hot” and “cold” cases are handled by the same detectives in a police department, both types of investigations suffer. I wrote recently (https://thecrimereport.org/2017/03/20/getting-away-with-murder-the-nationalcrisis-of-cold-case-homicides/) in The Crime Report that the number of cold-case homicides is rising across the country at the same time as violent crime is increasing —a parallel that is not just a coincidence.

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Ricketts vetoes bill to restore voting rights to felons sooner

OWH April 28, 2017

The governor is headed for a showdown with state lawmakers over felon voting rights.

Gov. Pete Ricketts vetoed a measure Thursday that restores the voting rights of felons immediately after they complete their sentences.

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Ricketts won’t sign bill to restore felons’ voting rights sooner, says current 2-year wait ‘not too much to ask’

OWH April 26, 2017

Gov. Pete Ricketts took one of three options off the table Tuesday when he said he won’t sign a bill that allows Nebraska felons to vote in elections after completing their sentences.

The Legislature voted 27-13 on Monday to pass the bill, which ends the two-year waiting period for felons before they can exercise their right to vote.

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Christopher Caldwell April 2017

“We should all be dead,” said Jonathan Goyer one bright morning in January as he looked across a room filled with dozens of his coworkers and clients. The Anchor Recovery Community Center, which Goyer helps run, occupies the shell of an office building in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Founded seven years ago, Anchor specializes in “peer-to-peer” counseling for drug addicts.

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Carfentanil: Everything You Should Know About the Deadly Synthetic Heroin

Synthetic opioids such as fentanyl have been making a huge splash in the United States and are causing an unprecedented number of overdoses and deaths throughout suburban America. Recently, a significantly more potent opioid analog has appeared. Carfentanil is 10,000 times more powerful than morphine and has proved deadly for many unsuspecting users.

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Smile! You’ve just been identied by face recognition


Imagine a world where, as you drive into — or even walk through — New York City, your face is scanned and compared to a list of suspected terrorists or other serious criminals. Would this make you feel safe? Now, imagine that the technology is error-prone, and may misidentify innocent people as suspects. What about now?

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Federal criminal prosecutions fall to lowest level in nearly two decades


Prosecutions for drug, immigration and property offenses – the three most common categories of crime charged by the federal government – all have declined over the past five years. The Justice Department filed drug charges against 24,638 defendants in 2016, down 23% from 2011. It filed immigration charges against 20,762 defendants, down 26%. And it charged 10,712 people with property offenses such as fraud and embezzlement, a 39% decline.

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