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Tampa’s Sen. Joyner awarded for civil rights advocacy

Tampa lawmaker Arthenia Joyner, the Florida Senate’s incoming democratic leader, has been named the 2014 recipient of the Florida Public Defender Association’s L. Clayton Nance Award.

The announcement came Tuesday from the Senate Democratic Office.

The award is given yearly to those “advancing the organization’s mission of ensuring equal justice,” it said, and recognizes Joyner for her civil rights work and criminal justice reform advocacy.

“Receiving this award is very special to me,” said Joyner, an attorney who represents Senate District 19, covering parts of Hillsborough, Pinellas and Manatee counties.

“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.”

The association also noted Joyner’s efforts toward juvenile sentencing reform and fighting for public defenders in the budget.

According to the assocaition, the award is named in honor of the late L. Clayton Nance, Broward County’s first public defender, who later became a circuit judge.