Many believe that the pursuit of justice must be tempered with mercy. This is a difficult line to walk in the criminal justice system, because judges do not always know the motives of defendants or their capacity for reform. Moreover, courtrooms in many Wisconsin cities need to shuffle cases through quickly, leaving little time for discussion or explanation.
We have written many times in the past about the problem of wrongful
conviction in the United States. It happens a lot more often than most people
realize, and it happens here in Wisconsin as well as in other states.
As an adult, your idea of what constitutes an authority figure is probably more nuanced than it was when you were a kid. Children tend to view most adults as authority figures, including parents, teachers and police. As such, most children and teenagers probably don’t understand that the consequences of being interrogated by a police officer are much more significant than being grilled by a parent or teacher.
A couple weeks ago, we wrote about the unsettling truth that race continues to play a large role in the criminal justice system throughout Wisconsin. This is evident in the way that drug crimes are prosecuted, as African Americans make up a vastly disproportional percentage of drug crime defendants.
It’s no secret that kids sometimes do stupid things and inevitably get into trouble. Kids test their boundaries, and brain science has shown that impulse control and the ability to predict consequences are often hindered during the developmental teenage years.
We have previously written about the heightened focus on wrongful convictions in the United States. Groups like the Innocence Project have been working tirelessly in recent years to help individuals clear their name and have their convictions overturned. At the same time, studying what went wrong in these cases will hopefully help prosecutors prevent wrongful convictions in the future.
White-collar crime has received a lot of media attention in recent years, particularly in the wake of the Great Recession. In an article we wrote near the beginning of the year, we shared predictions that white-collar crime arrests and prosecutions would steadily continue through 2014 and perhaps even increase compared to 2013.
The news over the last two weeks has focused heavily on the fatal police shooting and resulting protests in Ferguson, Missouri. Depending on your age and where you live in the United States, this story can either feel foreign or frighteningly close to home.
If you are currently facing criminal charges, you may be worried that the evidence against you seems pretty strong. But are you sure the evidence was obtained legally? In most cases, police officers must obtain a warrant before conducting a search of your property.
We have previously written about the problem of wrongful convictions in the United States. Awareness of this problem continues to grow thanks to the work of the Innocence Project and similar groups. Not only is the IP helping to exonerate innocent individuals, it is also providing important data on the most common problems that lead to wrongful convictions in the first place.