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March 2013 Archives

The Justice System: Do You Want a "Cadillac" or a "Taurus"?

In the Justice System, the right to counsel in a criminal case is a cornerstone of justice.  In the 1963 landmark decision of Gideon v. Wainwright, the Supreme Court declared that criminal defendants facing felony charges have the right to an attorney even if they cannot afford to pay for one

The Justice System: Is Failure to Help Someone a Crime?

In the Justice System in America, it is generally not criminal to fail to render asssitance to an adult who could use your help. However, recently in California a nurse employed at an independent living facility, refused to provide CPR to a dying elderly woman because the facility had a policy against administering CPR to its members. Although the facility maintains that its members were fully aware of its no-CPR policy, police have opened a criminal investigation to determine whether any criminal charges should be filed.

Sex Crimes: Child Pornography Restitution Questioned

Being convicted of sex crimes brings a heavy price, particularly in child pornography cases.  Congress says that anyone convicted of child pornography must pay mandatory restitution for the total amount of the victim's losses. While federal courts cannot agree on how the law should enforce restitution payments in child pornography cases, the Sixth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, Ohio, which covers all of Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee, recently remanded two $1 million-plus restitution orders to the district court to determine the extent to which individual defendants must pay restitution where they share responsibility for the victim's injuries. The cases involved men who were ordered to pay full restitution for possessing images of the same victim, although neither man created the images, nor did they have any contact with the person in the images.

Teenage and Juvenile Crime: Mandatory Life is Too Long

When you think of Teenage and Juvenile Crime it is important to remember that the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution prohibits the use of cruel and unusual punishment. In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that it is unconstitutional for states to sentence juveniles offenders convicted of murder to mandatory life sentences without the possibility of parole.