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December 2016 Archives

Americans' support for capital punishment continues to decline

A recent New York Times editorial notes that Americans are increasingly speaking out against the death penalty. In the article, the editorial board makes one of the keenest observations about the why the death penalty may be headed for the dustbin.

Revenge porn laws may be unfamiliar legal territory

Cyberbullying has become rampant with the advent of new technologies and ubiquitous online social media outlets. But over the last few years, internet bullying has taken a particularly ugly turn. When harassment includes the publication or distribution of sexually explicit images without the subject's consent it is considered a crime of nonconsensual pornography, commonly referred to as "revenge porn."

Wisconsin internet sting operation leads to three arrests

Police in Wisconsin sometimes turn to undercover operations in their law enforcement efforts. When it comes to sex crime enforcement, one type of undercover operation authorities sometimes use are internet sting operations. These stings sometimes lead to individuals facing serious internet sex crime charges.

Language barrier impedes Waukesha prostitution case

Over the past several weeks, police have been investigating Waukesha massage parlors accused of engaging in prostitution. On December 14, 2016, police arrested four women but have yet to bring charges against them. One reason for the delay is the ongoing nature of the investigation. Another reason, perhaps more relevant, is the limited translation capabilities available to law enforcement officials. 

Juveniles pleading insanity in homicide to be tried in adult court

In 2014, the town of Waukesha, Wisconsin was rocked by the attempted homicide of a young girl by two of her classmates. The 12-year-old girls who allegedly stabbed their friend multiple times claimed they did so in order to please a mythical, evil character they believed was real. Both were charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide in the so-called Slender Man case.

Juveniles receive life sentences counter to Supreme Court ruling

Among the 68 inmates in Wisconsin prisons for crimes they committed as juveniles sits a 33-year-old Milwaukee woman convicted of first-degree intentional homicide. She was only 13 years old -- and pregnant -- when she stood by and watched her boyfriend commit murder.

Police officers try new test kits to check for drugged driving

Although Wisconsin police officers are trained to recognize when drivers are most likely drunk, establishing whether drivers are high presents a different challenge. The state of Wisconsin does employ drug recognition training to teach officers what to look for, but so far, there is no evidence-based test that has been approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration available to law enforcement officials -- or prosecutors.

Pleading guilty as a criminal defense strategy

In a 2013 article for The New York Review of Books, U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff writes that "of the 2.2 million Americans in prison, over 2 million are there because of plea bargains." He also contends that somewhere between 2 and 8 percent of those people are innocent but pled guilty. You may wonder why an innocent person would plead guilty, but in reality, it happens all the time. 

OWI Charges Could Be Dismissed If Police Fail to Follow Procedure

If you have been arrested for drunk driving you might think you are at the mercy of the arresting officer. However, one of the best defenses available to you may be to think offensively about your arrest. The arresting officer must follow police protocol. If she failed to do so, that could be grounds for dismissing the charges.

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