HOW HARD IS IT TO FIRE A POLICE OFFICER?: A LOOK AT ONE LOCAL GOVERNMENT’S EXPERIENCE AND SOME POSSIBILITIES FOR REFORM
tutes governing the investigation of law enforcement officers, and the judicial doctrine of qualified immunity. This Article explores whether this assertion bears scrutiny, using previously published empirical studies and the more recent experience of a large metropolitan police department. The Article concludes that, despite the various protections against unjust discharge afforded police officers, they can readily be fired for misconduct if the employer conducts a reasonable investigation, gathers sufficient evidence to prove the misconduct, and complies with existing procedural rules. The Article describes reforms that employers may wish to consider to improve their ability to remove officers for good cause without unduly diminishing essential employee protections against unjust discipline, including harmless error rules, limiting arbitrator discretion over the form of discipline, preserving local government control over public policy, and increasing the scope of judicial review of arbitration decisions.
lated concepts of riparian rights, sovereign submerged lands, and the public trust doctrine. Receiving special attention is the significance—or lack thereof—of historic tidelands. The ramifications of the Butler Act for riparian owners are also expounded on. Finally, the efficacy of so-called “swamp deeds” to convey sovereign submerged lands is clarified once and for all. By the end of the Article, readers will grasp how the lands underlying navigable waters can fall into private ownership; however, readers will also be left wondering what public rights remain in such waters. The author poses this and several other questions pertaining to navigability for further examination.
ction Act in the context of sea-level rise adaptation. Since the Florida Legislature passed the Bert Harris Act a quarter century ago, there has been growing concern over the effects of sea-level rise. Given that the Florida Legislature has not provided increased protection from potential Bert Harris Act liability to local governments dealing with sea-level rise, local governments ought to evaluate how sea-level rise may lead to liability under the Bert Harris Act. This Article examines the Bert Harris Act and analyzes Florida case law pertaining to the Act. The Article provides analysis of both the procedural and substantive aspects of the Act, including summaries of potential procedural and substantive defenses to a Bert Harris Act claim. Additionally, the Article provides lessons for local governments to consider in addressing potential liability under the Bert Harris Act. The Article primarily focuses on analyzing the Act’s impact on local governments and their ability to utilize various land use planning tools for adapting to the increased risk of rising sea levels along Florida’s coasts.
integrate into society and be reunited with their families once they have served time for their offenses, but efficient, as it decreases prison population and prevents the housing of nonviolent offenders for excessive periods of time. However, Florida’s parole system has been nearly completely abolished for most inmates––including nonviolent offenders––who were sentenced to a period of incarceration for a crime committed on or after October 1, 1983, despite having the tenth highest incarceration rate in the nation. This Article first analyzes the historical context of Florida's parole system, how the legislature came to abolish parole entirely, and discusses the inadequate system as it stands today. Under the current parole system that remains, a three-member Commission determines an inmate’s eligibility for parole. The combination of excessively strict parole statutes with an unsympathetic Commission comprised of former prosecutors has resulted in the near impossibility of parole for most of Florida's inmates.
OVERCOMING GERRYMANDERING: ANALYZING PAST APPROACHES AND LOOKING TO AUTOMATION TO OVERCOME BIAS AND COGNITIVE LIMITATIONS IN FLORIDA
One of the most defining aspects of American democracy is the notion that the will of the people is fairly characterized by those who are elected to represent them. In ratifying Article I, Section II of the United States Constitution, Congress safeguarded this philosophy by requiring the district boundaries from which members of the United States House of Representatives are elected be redrawn every decade to account for shifts in population. Thus, the protection of redistricting was born. With this protection, however, came the ability to contrive district boundaries for the benefit of one group or party, a process known as gerrymandering. Though gerrymandering has existed for centuries, recent technological advancements have increased the frequency and accuracy through which it has been employed. Studies suggest that in the past decade approximately half of individuals elected to the House of Representatives each election cycle were incredibly lengthy appeals process from which a permissible map was derived just months before the 2016 election cycle. Because the Supreme Court indicated in Rucho v. Common Cause that political gerrymandering is an issue left solely to state resolution, the 2022 redistricting process presents looming concerns for many.