Before Kionne L. McGhee—the State Representative, author, college professor, husband, and father—could realize his dreams, he had to fend off his nightmarish reality. A reality that consisted of a young, streetwise kid trying to survive living in one of South Miami’s toughest communities—the Naranja Housing Projects—and whose existence centered on balancing the role of man of the house and fulfilling the statistical requirements of being a product of his environment. Petty crimes, dismissing the school system, and living fast while dying slowly were his motives and the potential life advocates around him were not willing to show him that other alternatives existed.
As the oldest son to a single mother of six children, McGhee struggled with the strange dichotomy of enforcing rules at home while having rules enforced upon him at school. Needless to say, this unique position caused negative reactions that resulted in low scores and humiliating labels. Categorically stamped emotionally handicapped and mentally retarded, McGhee’s future forecast was cloudy with no silver lining. To the world, the numbers said it all—78 IQ, 1.9 GPA, 580 SAT score, and 0% chance of surviving past the age of 21. After an unfortunate brush with the law, McGhee had to face the threat of serving 20 years of prison with 4 felony charges against him. However, in March 1997, McGhee was absolved of all crimes and would later receive a jolt of awareness from his mother while coming down the courtroom steps. The judge’s leniency and his mother’s simple reply of “This should be a wakeup call” did what years of struggles and mistakes couldn’t. That day was when his world began to shift.
On August 14, 2012, McGhee shattered yet another miscalculated diagnosis from his adolescent years as he was overwhelmingly elected as Florida State Representative, District 117. He has received numerous community awards and recognitions from great leaders such as Governor Charlie Crist, Chief Judge Joseph Farina, Senior Judge Tom Petersen, Judge Mary Jo Francis and many others for his dedication and hard work. Now, a respected author, State Representative, and revered professor, Kionne has become a role model for people of all ages whose stories are similar to his own as well as a trailblazer for justice and a motivator for success.
Kionne L. McGhee lives in Miami, Florida with his lovely wife, Stacy, and their three beautiful children—Kionne II, Hayley, and Hayes.
Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall school of Law (J.D., 2004).Howard University (B.S. in Political Science, 2000).
Florida (2004); Southern District of Florida (2009).
Assistant Regional Counsel, Miami-Dade Office of Regional Counsel; Assistant State Attorney,Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office (Community Prosecutions Unit); Adjunct Professor, Miami- Dade College (Criminal Justice); Intern, Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners (Constituent Outreach for Commissioner Dennis C. Moss); Intern, United States Senate, Senator Conrad Burns- Montana.
Building trial strategy; interviewing and examining witnesses; voir dire; delivering opening statement and closing argument; using depositions and other discovery for impeachment of witnesses; preserving error and creating record for appeal; oral argument of pre-trial issues;handling evidentiary hearings.
Completed over 30 trials; handled thousands of cases including:
- State of Florida v. Sarah Myles, Docket No. F-09-033216-A (2011) Not Guilty (Defense) verdict 27 minutes; reported in Miami New Times.
- State of Florida vs. Reynard Leggett (2009) Guilty Verdict (Prosecutor).
- State of Florida v. George Joseph (2009) Guilty Verdict (Prosecutor).
- State of Florida v. Manual Caldaron (2005) Not Guilty Verdict (Defense).
PUBLICATIONS AND SPEECHES:
Frequent community lecturer and motivational speaker; author of A Mere I Can is American.
General Counsel to Historically Black Colleges and Universities Law Enforcement Executives and Administrators Association.