In The Public Interest
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Claire Goforth

Goforth is a journalist and licensed attorney in Jacksonville, Florida. Follow her on Twitter @clairenjax.
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In Florida, Fees, Fines From Felonies Means Disenfranchised

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fines: Woman in matching colorful dress, head wrap, rests right arm on books on shelves.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Ten years ago, Rosemary McCoy never would have imagined that today she’d be in a Jacksonville library, tears streaming down her face, as she tells a stranger how it feels to be disenfranchised. Then she was a real estate professional with two decades’ experience, a wife, mother of two, an average, everyday citizen living a good life. Today she scrapes by on meager wages...

Florida in Debate Over Murder Charges for Drug Dealers Whose Buyers Die

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The move from Ohio to Florida was supposed to be a new beginning. On June 29, 2018, Timothy Sexton wrote on Facebook that he was nervous and excited to start his new job in Jacksonville. Though he’d miss his girlfriend and young son, who planned to join him in a few weeks, he wrote “it’s what’s best for my family, and I.” But the move turned out to be anything but the happy beginning the young...

Jacksonville, Tampa Prosecutors Pursue Aggressive Reform Agendas With Public Support

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Two grey-haired men listened silently in Courtroom 505 of the Duval County Courthouse on March 28 as Judge Angela M. Cox uttered the words that they’d waited the better part of 50 years to hear: “The indictments against you have been dismissed and you are free to go.” After spending more than 42 years in prison for murder and attempted murder, with that pronouncement Nathan...

Florida’s Bail System Hasn’t Changed in Jacksonville

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Image ID : 25678567 Media Type : Stock Photo Copyright : Sakhorn Saengtongsamarnsin

Michael Mills had run-ins with the law in his younger, wilder days. Now he is 43, an automotive repairman and father of four who lives in Baldwin, Fla., a quasi-independent municipality in Jacksonville. He thought that was all far behind him until he was arrested in September 2018 on felony charges of impersonating a police officer. As a small business owner, he had the means to pay a bail bonds...

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