Friday, June 2, 2017

Florida high court to hear FAMU hazing appeal

Dante Martin is serving a seven-year prison sentence for the hazing death of a drum major

TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- The Florida Supreme Court will take up the appeal of Dante Martin, a former Florida A&M University Marching 100 band member convicted in the hazing death of Robert Champion six years ago.

Martin filed a petition for review to the state’s highest court in February, arguing that Florida’s hazing statute is overly broad and criminalizes conduct that, although brutal, is nonetheless protected by the federal constitution.

“This statute renders illegal a substantial amount of constitutionally protected conduct that is, notably, openly discussed, critiqued, promoted, advertised and practiced by students statewide,” the petition said.

The statute “affects each and every student of the State of Florida’s public schooling system, from kindergarten to the graduate level,” the petition said. “The statute’s chilling effect on the exercise of constitutional rights is substantial.”


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