What is a relevant interesting current topic related to criminal justice?What is a relevant interesting current topic related to criminal justice?

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akannan's profile pic

Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Building off of the previous posts, sentencing guidelines is an issue that always seems to haunt criminal justice.  Youth crime is a challenge for any and all areas.  The idea of sentencing juveniles is a pressing issue.  For example, if two people commit the same crime of murder, with one of the perpetrators being 18 and the other one 17 years old and ten months, we observe frequently that there is a large disparity in the sentences for each.  Sentencing guidelines based on precedent versus individual case analysis seems to be a challenge in criminal justice and might be more relevant given the status of crimes committed by young people.  Another issue related to youth is the idea of using information technology to send and distribute compromising pictures.  Is this possession of pornographic material or simply "bad decision making"?  Assessing the role of information technology in these realms is challenging.

lorrainecaplan's profile pic

Lorraine Caplan | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

There are plenty of interesting criminal justice topics in the news right now.  On item of interest in the recent capture of a Somalian pirate who may or may not be a minor. There are maritime law implications to think about, and it appears that it may not be possible to establish whether he is over 18 or not because Somalia is in such chaos that a birth certificate might not be obtainable. A second current topic is whether to prosecute high officials in the Bush administration who authorized torture at Guantonomo Bay and a few other places. Yet another topic is whether to try juveniles who have committed heinous crimes as adults.  There is something on this quite often in the news.  Still another topic that is in the news is decriminallization of marijuana.  If you read the New York Times or the Washington Post, or even your local paper, you will find plenty of interesting topics every day. 

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