Things That Matter

Here’s How Miami Is Fighting Against The Republican Party And Allowing Former Felons To Vote

There is positive news out of Florida that may affect the lives of countless former felons when it comes to voting rights. According to the Miami Herald, Miami-Dade has a plan in place to help felons restore their right to vote, even if they owe restitution or other fees. The plan, which was announced Monday by the county’s top prosecutor, public defender, and clerk of courts, would create a quicker system where state judges can override some financial penalties that would otherwise stop an ex-felon’s involvement in an election.

An estimated 150,000 former felons in Miami-Dade will be able to apply to the program allowing them to vote despite Republican Governor Ron DeSantis trying to limit their involvement.

Credit: @NAACP_LDF / Twitter

The plan, also referred to as a “rocket docket”, for its speedy disposition of cases and controversies that come before it, is expected to be put in use across Florida. This will include Broward and Palm Beach counties, where for years lack of voting rights for felons played a big role in local and national elections. 

“Make no mistake, this will be rolled out in every judicial district in Florida,” Desmond Meade, president of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, told the Miami Herald

If implemented, the plan could prevent a lack of sufficient money from becoming a stoppage to voting rights and would assist former felons to navigate through the courts.

“It isn’t anti-anybody. People like to paint it like that. It’s pro-people. It’s about doing something that’s right and it’s about doing what the law and the constitution say,” State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle told CBS4. 

The plan won’t cover everyone with a felony conviction. An individual who owes restitution required as part of their sentence can’t be accepted, as well as anyone convicted outside of Miami-Dade County. A felon who is charged with murder or sex offenses can reinstate their voting rights only by petitioning Florida’s Board of Executive Clemency.

Back in November 2018, 64 percent of Floridians voted in favor of Amendment 4 that reinstated voting rights for former felons in the Sunshine State. Shortly after taking office as governor, DeSantis made threats against the amendment, despite the approval of Floridians. In order to curtail the democratic process that allowed ex-felons to regain their right to vote, the Republican-led Florida Congress, with approval from the governor’s office, added language forcing people to fully pay court fines and fees before they can register to vote.

The move to restrict those who can get their voting rights back has been called a poll tax.

Credit: @YahooNews / Twitter

By forcing ex-felons to pya fines not tied to their punishment, the Florida Republican Party is forcing more than one million voters from registering. It is a clear attack on voters rights and voting rights activists are fighting back.

The plan is a long time coming for many in Florida who have been wanting to be a part of the political process. 

Credit:@MichaelFCrowley / Twitter

Anthony Hannah is one of those ex-felons that wants to be able to have a voice in the political process in the 2020 presidential election. The Miami-Dade native told a local Florida news station that he was was sentenced to 12 years in prison for robbery and burglary back in 1992. He would appeal the case and would enter a plea without truly understanding the consequences of being classified as a habitual offender. 

After getting released in from jail in 2001, he steered clear of trouble until 2014 when he was accused of possession of marijuana. Even though Hannah wasn’t convicted of the crime, fees from the trail began to increase. The County Court put him on a payment plan and paid almost $470 in fees by 2015.  

Hannah is a perfect example of a voting system long-plagued with disadvantages, particularly when it comes to people of color in low-income communities. It was until last November, when Florida voters approved Amendment 4, allowing convicted felons who complete all terms of their sentence, including parole or probation, the right to vote, except those convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense.

There was one small detail to the amendment, state lawmakers added various fees, fines, and restitution. This went into effect back on July first.

“Over a million Floridians were supposed to reclaim their place in the democratic process, but some politicians clearly feel threatened by greater voter participation,” Julie Ebenstein, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, said in a statement. 

Several groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union,  have since filed federal lawsuits with hopes to get rid of the financial requirement section of the bill.

While there are still some obstacles to overcome, this is a step in the right direction. 

Credit:@aandersonreed / Twitter

Meade has been fighting for the bill for years and sees the latest amendment as a sign of things to come. After working on the law and adding specific language, judges can “modify” a sentence by moving  fines to community service hours or even stipulating that various financial fees won’t stop a convicted felon from registering to vote. 

“Court fines should not get in the way of voting,” Broward State Attorney Michael Satz said in a statement. “We are working on a final proposal to get this done in the best and simplest way. We expect to have a finalized plan in the next few weeks.”

READ: Julián Castro Stays Strong, Joe Biden And Kamala Harris Defend Records And More In The Second Democratic Debate

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This Insane Video of an Anti-Mask ‘Karen’ Screaming and Resisting Arrest in a Florida Bagel Shop is Going Viral

Things That Matter

This Insane Video of an Anti-Mask ‘Karen’ Screaming and Resisting Arrest in a Florida Bagel Shop is Going Viral

Screenshot via Instagram

Just when you think yo’ve seen all the Karen videos out there, one comes out of left field and blows them all out of the water.

The video we’re talking about here is the video of Cindy Falco-DiCorrado, a 62-year-old “anti-mask activist” who exemplifies the very definition of white privilege.

Falco-DiCorrado was arrested last Thursday at an Einstein Bagels location in Boca Raton, Florida. Luckily for the internet, Falco-DiCorrado had a camerawoman in tow to record the entire debacle leading up to the arrest.

The video starts in the middle of things, with an officer taking an unmasked Falco-DiCorrado by the arm, asking her to please step outside. It is immediately evident that the woman (who, by the way, is dressed in head-to-toe leopard print) will not be compliant.

Falco-DiCorrado begins raising her voice and screaming at the officer, shouting things like “Get your hands off of me! You are kidnapping me!” and “You are violating the Constitution! That’s discrimination!”

At one point, the unseen camerawoman who is recording the meltdown pans around the bagel shop to get a look at all of the spectators.

It appears that every customer in the shop, as well as the workers behind the counter, have taken their phones out to record the bizarre incident.

The Florida woman continues to struggle with the cop and scream things like “Get your hands off of me! I’ve done nothing wrong, I am not a criminal,” while accusing the police officer (who is Black) of “stealing her purse”.

The struggle continues until a second cop arrives and immediately decides to not handle the unhinged woman with kid gloves. The second cop immediately grabs her by the arm and, with the help of the other cop, proceeds to drag her out of the shop.

But the video doesn’t end there. As Falco-DiCorrado is dragged out of the shop, she continues to scream.

The officers proceed to arrest her while she struggles against them and screams: “Stop it! You cannot arrest me! I’ve done nothing illegal!”

The entire time she is being arrested she is visibly and enthusiastically resisting arrest.

Watching the video, one can’t help but wonder how the officers would have treated her if her skin was a different color.

The video was posted to the popular Instagram page @CrazyKarens where it quickly went viral.

Commentators were stunned by the entire interaction, writing things like: “They let her get away with way too much! They would’ve thrown a person of color right on the ground the minute he/she didn’t stand up.”

Another person said: “With all that resistance she didn’t get pepper spray, no taser, no knee to the neck, no punches and they even called her ‘ma’am'”.

According to officials, Falco-DiCorrado is facing charges of trespassing and resisting arrest without violence. All because she didn’t want to wear a mask.

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Florida Teen Nicole Martinez Who Was Kidnapped By Ex-Con is Found Safe in Virginia

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Florida Teen Nicole Martinez Who Was Kidnapped By Ex-Con is Found Safe in Virginia

Photo via PPinesPD/Twitter

The public has been informed of a happy ending to a story that could have ended tragically. Authorities have revealed that the Florida teen who was abducted by gunpoint on Sunday morning has been found safely in Virginia.

According to police, 18-year-old Nicole Martinez was found unharmed with her kidnapper, 37-year-old Jaddier Sanchez.

Florida authorities revealed that Sanchez abducted Martinez and her parents by gunpoint from their home in Pembroke Pines shortly after midnight on Sunday. He forced Martinez and her parents into their Dodge Ram pickup truck and drove the family around, forcing them to withdraw cash at various ATM machines.

He drove the car to Palm Beach, at which point he told the parents to “get out”. He then drove off with Nicole still in the car, against her will. Martinez’s parents were found wandering at the side of the road by authorities around 5:30 am on Sunday.

The Virginia authorities were able to locate Sanchez around 1 a.m. Monday morning, driving on the Interstate 95 near Springfield in the stolen vehicle.

According to police reports, he was arrested “without incident”. A preliminary search of the car turned up crack cocaine as well as a loaded firearm.

Per the police, Martinez was not gravely harmed, but she was nonetheless taken to a Virginia hospital for minor injuries. Authorities are not giving any other update on her physical condition.

In Virgina, Sanchez faced a judge for three weapons charges, a drug charge and a traffic offense. In Florida, he faces a myriad of other legal troubles. Florida police have yet to formally charge Sanchez, but the Florida man is facing charges of armed robbery, three counts of kidnapping, and grand theft of a vehicle.

According to Martinez’s parents, the family was acquainted with the kidnapper through their daughter.

Police have since revealed that 37-year-old Sanchez was in a “romantic relationship” with the 18-year-old. No further details have been given.

Since his arrest, reports have come out the at Sanchez has spent most of his adult life in and out of prison.

According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, since he was 18-years-old, Sanchez has been charged with shoplifting, burglary, larceny, aggravated stalking, trespassing, aggravated battery, armed robbery with a deadly weapon, kidnapping, and domestic violence with intent to kill.

Sanchez had been behind bars since 2006, but was released in late 2020. It didn’t take much time for him to get in trouble with the law again, however.

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