Daily News Summary
An electronic digest of media coverage of interest to members of The Florida Bar compiled each workday by the Public Information and Bar Services Department. Electronic links are only active in today's edition. For information on previous articles, please contact the publishing newspaper directly.
May 21, 2013
PRO BONO ATTORNEYS SERVE SENIOR CITIZENS WITH CREATION OF ADVANCE DIRECTIVES -- Jacksonville Daily Record, http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com, May 21, 2013.
Jacksonville pro bono attorneys and volunteer paralegals gathered on a recent Saturday morning at U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development local residential facility, to serve senior citizens by creating needed advance directives documents. The Advance Directives for Seniors Pro Bono Project is a collaboration of Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Florida Coastal School of Law, the Jacksonville Bar Association and the Northeast Florida Paralegal Association. Attorneys who would like information about participating in the advance directives or other pro bono events are encouraged to contact the JBA.
WINTER HAVEN LAWYER A 'GODSEND' FOR BOYS & GIRLS CLUB -- Lakeland Ledger, http://www.theledger.com, May 21, 2013.
Profile of Kerry Wilson, a Winter Haven lawyer, who has served on the board of what is now the Citrus Center Boys & Girls Club since 1989. His volunteer work is praised. "Everyone looks at Kerry Wilson as a leader. People respect his opinion and his ideas, and rightly so," said Walt Hall, the executive director of the Boys & Girls Club.
GOV. RICK SCOTT'S VETO PEN IS BACK: $368 MILLION IN LINE-ITEMS SLASHED -- Miami Herald, http://www.miamiherald.com, May 21, 2013. [Also: SCOTT SIGNS BUDGET BUT VETOES $368 MILLION IN SPENDING FIRST -- Florida Current, http://www.thefloridacurrent.com, May 21, 2013; SOUTH FLORIDA REGAINING LOST GROUND -- Miami Herald, Editorial, http://www.miamiherald.com, May 21, 2013.]
Gov. Rick Scott vetoed nearly $368 million in spending from the state’s budget, using his line-item authority to strike out scores of projects. As expected, Scott vetoed a 3 percent tuition increase for state colleges, universities and workforce education. Among the vetoed projects is $1 million funding for “Civil Legal Assistance Program." Scott said money from a National Mortgage settlement could be used to help low income Floridians gain access to legal aid instead. An editorial by the Miami Herald considers that "some good projects fell victim to Mr. Scott’s priority list, including a veto for the third year in a row of $1 million statewide for legal aid to serve the poor."
IN FLORIDA, TIMELY INJUSTICE -- Chicago Tribune, Column, http://www.chicagotribune.com, May 19, 2013. [Also: LEONARD PITTS: IN FLORIDA, DEATH PENALTY BILL IS A TIMELY INJUSTICE -- Tallahassee Democrat, Column, http://www.tallahassee.com, May 18, 2013.]
Columnist Leonard Pitts, Jr. is critical of the Timely Justice Act, which "passed the Legislature in the apparent belief Florida is not killing people fast enough." According to the Death Penalty Information Center, Florida has the highest error rate in the country. Pitts asks, "how can a state that gets it wrong at least one time in every four want to speed up the process?" and urges Scott to veto the bill, stating that it "imposes something that may indeed be timely. But it sure as hell is not justice."
--Criminal Justice Issues--
FLORIDA HIGH COURT REFUSES TO GRANT STAY OF EXECUTION FOR CONDEMNED KILLER VAN POYCK -- Palm Beach Post, http://www.pbpost.com, May 21, 2013.
A deeply divided Florida Supreme Court ruled late Monday [May 20] that condemned prison guard killer William Van Poyck should die by lethal injection on June 12 as scheduled. The high court dismissed claims by Van Poyck’s attorneys that they are ill-prepared to launch his critical last-ditch appeals. They also ignored concerns from some of the state’s top lawyers that Van Poyck's rights are being violated. Four justices denied the request for a stay of Mr. Van Poyck’s execution in a terse two-page ruling. Two justices, however, said in a sharply worded dissenting opinion that there are good reasons to stay the execution. In an apparent effort to accommodate Van Poyck's attorneys, the high court extended the deadlines for when they must file various appeals.
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