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Is a Mandate with No Money Still a Mandate?

Over ten years ago, 61% of California voters voted yes to a proposition that made treatment possible instead of incarceration for non-violent drug offenders.  The Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act of 2000, or Proposition 36, states that nonviolent, simple drug possession offenders have the opportunity to complete a drug treatment program instead of serving Read More

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Does Transparency Equal Better Results?

Will transparency lead to better results in California dependency courts? California Assemblyman Mike Feuer believes so and has introduced Assembly Bill 73, which if passed, would open up proceedings in California dependency courts to the public. Dependency courts are responsible for deciding whether children should be permanently removed from their parents and handles cases such Read More

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Is Cyberbullying a Crime?

Facebook, Myspace, and text messaging have changed the way today’s teens communicate with one another.  These forms of electronic communication have revolutionized social interaction, but they have also revolutionized the act of bullying.  Bullying is no longer limited to face-to-face physical and verbal harassment.  It has now taken on new life with harassment through electronic Read More

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May I have your zip code please?

“May I have your zip code please?” How many times have you been checking out at your favorite retail store and heard this request? If you are like me you hastily respond, wondering at the time why it is they need your zip code in order to complete the transaction. I leave the store never Read More

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Disparity in Criminal Sentences

For every crime committed in the United States there is a federal guideline for prison sentences and fines. However, five years ago the Supreme Court made a decision to allow judges to make their own sentencing decisions, but said that the judges should consult the federal guidelines. But what happens when some judges follow the Read More

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V.A. Clarifies Rules on Medical Marijuana

Veterans fought for our country and our rights and now some have won a small victory in the fight for medical marijuana. According to the New York Times article by Dan Frosch, “the Department of Veterans Affairs will formally allow patients treated at its hospitals and clinics to use medical marijuana in states where it Read More

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Ruling Questions Constitutionality of Ban on Same Sex Marriage

Why are same-sex couples, who are legally married in their state, not afforded the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples? A federal judge in Massachusetts recently addressed this issue in his rulings on two cases. In the first case he ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional as it infringes on a state’s Read More

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Ruling Questions Constitutionality of Ban on Same Sex Marriage

Why are same-sex couples, who are legally married in their state, not afforded the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples? A federal judge in Massachusetts recently addressed this issue in his rulings on two cases. In the first case he ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional as it infringes on a state’s Read More

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Mehserle Trial; Jury is in, but emotions still run high

Involuntary manslaughter, an unintentional killing that results from a recklessness or criminal negligence. This is the verdict a Los Angeles County jury decided on for former BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) police officer Johannes Mehserle. Mehserle had been accused of second degree murder, a much more serious crime, in the January 1, 2009 shooting death Read More

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Deportation Not Imminent for Legal Immigrants with Minor Drug Offenses

Legal immigrants recently caught a break when the Supreme Court ruled that they should not face automatic deportation for being convicted of minor drug offenses. Before the ruling, legal immigrants faced automatic deportation for an aggravated felony. However, the question was if minor drug charges should be considered an aggravated felony. The justices answered this Read More

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