Carissa Allen/Fresh Take Florida
Extended summary: With Florida making it easier for juries to impose the death sentence, two formerly condemned inmates who are still behind bars are warning that the change gives too much power over life and death to elected prosecutors. Their concerns are at odds with some families of murder victims. The two killers were sentenced to life in prison after juries couldn’t unanimously agree to condemn them. Gov. Ron DeSantis last month signed into law a bill permitting the death penalty even in cases where only eight of 12 jurors approve. The state previously required all 12 jurors to agree. The law took effect immediately.
New surveys of Florida colleges, universities fail to support concerns over anti-conservative sentimentResults from the first controversial surveys to uncover the political beliefs of nearly 2 million students, faculty and staff at Florida's colleges and universities are in. Those results were not what Florida's Legislature and Gov. Ron DeSantis expected. Most faculty, instructional staff and administrators who responded described themselves as moderate politically. More of them described themselves as conservative than liberal. Hardly anyone agreed that endorsing a particular political view would help them be promoted or granted tenure. And more of them agreed than disagreed that their campus was equally tolerant of liberal and conservative ideas and beliefs. Lawmakers had said they were worried about anti-conservative bias on college campuses. Just under 10 percent of almost 120,000 faculty, instructional staff and administrators responded. But fewer than 1 percent of more than 1.7 million students filled out the surveys, making those results statistically worthless. The next round of surveys will be going out in about six months unless a judge intervenes. A group of professors is challenging in federal court the law requiring the annual surveys. That case is set for trial in January in Tallahassee.