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The Florida Bar

Florida Inmates Issued Peculiar Playing Cards.

Misdemeanor Arrest Lawyers in Broward County | William R. Moore

Over the last couple of years programs have been funded for Florida jails to provide playing cards to their inmates. These poker style playing cards are particularly interesting because each card depicts information on an individual cold case file. The brain child of Special Agent Tommy Ray out of Polk County, Florida, it was hoped that gossip about the cold cases on each card would lead to potential arrests. Early on into the pilot program, jailhouse talk from the playing cards resulted in a tip whereby two men were charged with a 2004 murder which had gone cold. As of today, Florida inmates have had access to two separate decks of cards which have information on them from 104 cold cases. While arrests have been made and cold cases reopened since the cards implementation sociologists are quick to criticize the program.

The cost of false leads could be staggering and may even lead to false convictions. Jack Levin, a Northeastern University sociologist and criminologist warns that in order to determine if the program is working law enforcement is going to have to put some fake cases in the decks to see how inmates respond to those.

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