Broward County State Attorney, 17th Judicial Circuit, FL
Joe is the proud oldest son of a single mom. He grew up on food stamps and free school lunches and as a child spent several years living in a one-room basement in his grandparents’ home.
After graduating from Florida State University in 2004, he joined Teach For America and taught English as a Second Language in an inner-city high school in Houston, Texas.
After teaching for three years, he enrolled at Vanderbilt University Law School, where he graduated in the top 10% of his class and served as an Editor on the Vanderbilt Law Review.
Joe then became a prosecutor in Broward County because he believed in justice and looked forward to fighting for the powerless. Instead, he found a system so profoundly broken and racist that the idea of justice had become a fiction. So he left and became a criminal defense lawyer, representing clients who could not afford an attorney, so that he could fight to dismantle the system, rather than be a part of it.
As a criminal defense lawyer, he tried every type of case imaginable, from juvenile misdemeanors to death penalty murder trials. Many of my cases have been featured in national news outlets.
For decades, State Attorney races in Florida have been about which candidate could promise more convictions and longer prison sentences.
Joe is changing that. The core of his progressive campaign is that Broward County must dismantle mass incarceration because they are safer when they are freer. Joe is running to end cash bail, the war on drugs, and the school to prison pipeline. He is running to end the racial disparities in the criminal justice system and the criminalization of poverty. He is against the death penalty in a county that is one of the largest contributors to Florida’s Death Row. And in a county that saw the worst school shooting in a generation at Parkland, Joe is running on a platform that says gun violence isn’t just a mass shooting problem, but a problem that affects all of the communities.