Unspeakable Times

Florida's No Wilder Than Any Other State, But The Revolutionary Sunshine Act Makes It Seems That Way

Is Florida as crazy as it seems? Anyone reading or watching the news knows a story beginning with the words “Florida man” - or any Florida resident, really - is bound to be good. Whether the crimes take place in southern grocery chain Publix or the Everglades, the reports range from hysterical to macabre in nature.

Jokes around the internet refer to “Florida Man” as one person wreaking havoc in the state, but the truth is less meme and more lawful.

Dating back to in 1909, Florida operates under the idea that the government works for the people, so their information should be available to the public. The group of laws that protect this transparency are called the Florida Sunshine Laws; they include access to arrest records and Florida mug shots, making reporters' jobs easier while creating the dysfunctional "Florida Man" mythos.