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Museum to recognize south florida's criminal history

Posted on February 18, 2010 3:00 AM EST

Many cities across the United States boast about their history in one form or another. Miami, mostly known for its sandy beaches, fishing and tourism, has decided to honor the cities checkered, but spectacular criminal history. The Historical Museum of Southern Florida located downtown will be the home to the six month historical exhibit that depicts the well-known crimes that have been committed in the city over the past 100 years. Judge Scott Silverman, a Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge and one of the founders of the 11th Judicial Circuit Historical Society told reporters, "What the exhibit will try to do is capture Miami's criminal history during the last century and see how it has impacted the lives of the people in the community.

Miami's rich criminal history includes famous kidnaping, murders, attempted presidential assassination attempts and cocaine trafficking rings. Famous mobster Al Capone resided on Miami Beach in the 1920's. He was involved in several criminal enterprises from racketeering to bootlegging. In 1933, an attempt was made on the life of Franklin D. Roosevelt at Bayfront. Of course, recent history recalls the craziness that ran rampant in the streets during the 1980's with the cocaine cowboys. Miami criminal defense lawyers have garnered a lot of notoriety over the years for their involvement in defending cases during these eras.

Famous cases, both solved and unsolved will also have exhibits posted at the museum. The exhibits will include photographs, court documents, historical law enforcement tool and even authentic fingerprint cards belonging to the most infamous of the city's high profile criminals and criminal enterprises. Exhibits include the 1933 kidnaping of James "Skeegie Cash and the 1932 kidnaping of Charles Lindbergh's child. A man named Franklin McCall was arrested for the Cash kidnaping and actually confessed to killing the small child by placing his hand over the child's mouth, accidently suffocating him. A Miami sex crime of notable importance was the abduction of a six-year old girl named Judith Ann Roberts. The child was taken from her Coconut Grove home and found on a desolate road and determined to be the victim of sexual battery and murder.

In recent memory, Miami was a wild and dangerous place in the 1980's with the cocaine cowboys running extensive cocaine trafficking and money laundering rings. Because of the large quantities of cocaine entering the United States by boat and plane and the violence that stemmed from the territorial disputes ongoing during the cocaine wars, the Florida legislature mandated draconian minimum mandatory prison sentences for cocaine trafficking offenses. While the legislature was at it, they also created minimum mandatory sentences for marijuana trafficking, heroin trafficking, oxycodone trafficking, etc. The courts were also given leverage on drug cases by imposing Nebbia requirements. Nebbia requires that a person posting a bond demonstrate to the prosecutor and the court that proceeds for the bond whether it be the premium or the collateral came from legitimate resources.

Miami's Rich History of Crime to be on Display, The Miami Herald, February 17, 2010.
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