State Senator Joyner Honored for Civil Rights and Criminal Justice Reforms

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TALLAHASSEE – State Senator and incoming Senate Democratic Leader Arthenia Joyner (D-Tampa) has been named the 2014 recipient of the L. Clayton Nance Award by the Florida Public Defender Association.

The honor, annually awarded to those advancing the organization’s mission of ensuring equal justice, will be presented to Senator Joyner in recognition of her “strong advocacy for civil rights and criminal justice reform.”

“Receiving this award is very special to me,” said Senator Joyner. “It not only recognizes the work accomplished, but the importance of public defenders in leveling the scales of justice and the critical mission they fulfill.”

Julianne Holt, Public Defender for the 13th Judicial Circuit and President of the Florida Public Defender Association thanked Senator Joyner for her “lifetime commitment to fairness, equality and compassion. While ensuring public safety the Senator has found a way to weave empathy into a system that must help people overcome challenges and missteps.”

Noting the Tampa Democrat’s pioneering legacy as a teacher, attorney, and lawmaker, Nancy Daniels, the Public Defender for Florida’s 2nd Judicial Circuit added that Senator Joyner “has lived a life of service to the cause of justice and richly deserves this recognition. We are grateful for her strong and steady struggle for the rights of all.”

In selecting Senator Joyner, the Association additionally cited her support for the juvenile sentencing reform bill (HB 7035), and her critical advocacy for public defenders in the budget process.

The L. Clayton Nance Award, first launched by the FPDA in 1977, is named in honor of the late L. Clayton Nance, Broward County’s first Public Defender who later became a Circuit Court Judge.