The United States Supreme Court heard a case on Monday that will decide whether federal judges can sentence prisoners for a longer amount of time for rehabilitation. The Court’s decision will impact over 80,000 federal criminals who are sentenced every year and those who seek criminal defense. The case made it to the Supreme Court because lower federal court judges are split as to whether rehabilitation time can be considered in a convicted criminal’s sentence.
Lawmakers in Minnesota this week considered adding synthetic drugs to the state’s list of drug crimes. Synthetic drugs like 2C-E and 2C-1 go by the name of “bath salts” and are amphetamines that are legally obtainable over the internet. Though the drugs are legal they have serious and fatal health consequences. On March 11 young people in Blaine, Minnesota overdosed on 2C-E and one 19-year-old died from an overdose during the same incident.
As the weather in Minnesota finally transitions from the long winter to reliably warm spring days, high school students near the dates of prom and high school graduation and graduation parties. For some, high school prom and graduation parties are a rite of passage where underage drinking occurs. The reality is that a season of celebration that throws alcohol into the mix can result in danger, death and DUI.
Last week we spoke about a study on the growth of juvenile prostitution that was released by the Women’s Funding Network. The sex crime study was presented during a Congressional hearing regarding the closure of Craigslist’s adult section. The study claimed that juvenile prostitution in Minnesota, California and Michigan grew exponentially during the study’s six month time period; however, the methodology used to conduct the study is now being challenged various research experts.
A study on the growth of juvenile prostitution that was used at a Congressional hearing to inform members of the subcommittee of the House Judiciary in September may be flawed. The study released by the Women’s Funding Network tracked the growth of juvenile prostitution and found the sex crime had risen exponentially in three diverse states. Those states were Minnesota, New York and Michigan. Further research has been conducted on the study and according to various university researchers the data behind the study is flawed. Over the next two posts we will discuss the study and the research that examined the study’s data.
Last Wednesday, the Supreme Court of the United States heard a criminal defense case involving whether police were required to give a 13-year-old boy Miranda warnings and whether the young teenager was in custody at the time he was questioned. The justices were divided along political lines as they questioned both sides during the oral arguments. While some justices worried that different standards of Miranda warnings would need to be applied to different age groups, other justices easily thought that a 13-year-old would interpret questioning by a police officer differently than an adult.
There are two small groups of people in the world and the idea of guilt affects them in very different ways. One is a group of men convicted of rape but were later exonerated from the sex crime because of DNA evidence. Another is the group of women who were raped but in the end identified the wrong person as their aggressor. For the men, a false conviction has forever robbed them of time, and for the women their unintentional misidentification creates the guilt of putting an innocent person behind bars.