Miami-Dade Legislators speak out
There were several events this week at which Miami-Dade legislators spoke out on behalf of Floridians who had been mistreated, and whose civil and constitutional rights were violated by the state. Representative Cynthia Stafford delivered an apology on behalf of the Florida House to the survivors of the Dosier School for Boys, which had abused its young inmates over a period of more than a century. Seventeen surviving Dosier School residents and their families, many in tears, watched from the Gallery as House members heard a resolution acknowledging this “shameful part of the state of Florida’s history.” Representative Jose Oliva also spoke on the House Floor, adding his name to the list of co-sponsors of the official House Resolution, which passed 117-0.
The House also made an official apology, on behalf of the state of Florida, to surviving family members of the Groveland Four – young men who were wrongly accused of a rape nearly 70 years ago, subjected to racism and mob violence, and never officially exonerated. House Speaker Corcoran addressed a press conference in recognition of this terrible miscarriage of justice inflicted on the Groveland Four and their families by the state of Florida. Representative Barbara Watson was among the legislators present at the press conference, who spoke with Groveland Four family members and learned their stories. The House Resolution passed 116-0.
Representative Kionne McGhee and Senator Jose Javier Rodriguez spoke out at a press conference in support of Criminal Justice Reform. The legislators addressed a group of violent crime survivors who are seeking alternatives to long prison sentences that support victims of violent crimes and their families and focus on rehabilitation to promote crime prevention.