Entries by Public Defender 9th Circuit

Miami Veteran Turned Notorious Molly Dealer Gets ‘Second’ Second Chance. Judge Cites PTSD

Normally in life, people get a second chance after screwing up only once. Jorge Ramon Hernandez got a “ ‘second’ second chance,” as a federal judge told him on Thursday, when she cut him a sweet break on his prison sentence. Twice convicted of importing and dealing the club-drug Molly, Hernandez was sent to prison […]

Florida Veterans Now Able to Receive Immediate Care from Anywhere via 24/7 Hotline, Video Chat

Florida veterans with immediate medical questions or concerns can now reach a professional for free, 24/7, through the Clinical Contact Center, a telephone hotline or video chat. The service is funded by the VA Sunshine Healthcare Network, or VISN 8, and available to all veterans, according to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs’ website. Read more.

Study of Veterans Details Genetic Basis for Anxiety, Links Anxiety and Depression

Some of the variants associated with anxiety had previously been implicated as risk factors for bipolar disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and schizophrenia. The new study further contributes the first convincing molecular explanation for why anxiety and depression often coexist. Read more.

Seminole Jail’s Innovative Addiction Treatment Program Aims to Combat Opioid Epidemic

Eva Viruet has been to rehab before. She’s also spent more nights in jail than she’d like to admit. But her time in Seminole County’s Accepting Change Through Treatment, or ACTT, program — a hybrid between inpatient drug rehabilitation and incarceration — has been something different. Read more.

Heather Fitzenhagen Files Bill to Help Locate Missing Veterans

State Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen is pushing legislation aimed at helping law enforcement locate missing veterans. The Fort Myers Republican filed the legislation (HB 1051) Monday. The bill creates a voluntary “Camo Alert” registry which would maintain information regarding at-risk veterans. Read more.

Gus Bilirakis, Charlie Crist Seek State Help Tracking Veteran Suicides

U.S. Reps. Gus Bilirakis and Charlie Crist want Florida’s help battling veteran suicides. The Clearwater Republican and Tampa Democrat sent a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis asking that Florida medical examiners start tracking veteran status for suicide victims. “When local medical examiners take over death investigations in cases of suspected suicides, they do not necessarily investigate whether the deceased is a veteran,” the […]

Judge Won’t Set Aside Jury’s Death Penalty Vote for Man Who Killed 2 Kissimmee Cops

A judge refused to set aside a jury’s recommendation that Everett Glenn Miller be executed for killing two Kissimmee police officers, after his attorneys argued Friday jurors were given a “defective” verdict form and instructions during the trial. Last month, a 12-member jury unanimously recommended a judge should sentence the 48-year-old Marine Corps veteran to […]

When a Prisoner Returns Home With a Brain Injury, Freedom Isn’t So Free

Chuck Coma tried to lie still in his hospital bed. But there was a spasm in his chest, like something inside was fighting to get out. “It says here you had an injury in 2016, and you’ve been jerking since then. Are there any triggers?” the technician asked, wrapping a tape measure around Chuck’s head […]

Stephanie Murphy Helps Secure Funds for UCF to Help Veterans with PTSD

This week, U.S. Rep Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., announced $1 million is headed to the University of Central Florida (UCF) to further help veterans recover from PTSD. The federals funds, which come from the Army, will go to UCF RESTORES, an innovative program in which veterans suffering from PTSD are in an intensive, three-week outpatient program. Read more.