Juvenile offenders who were previously sentenced to mandatory life without parole may now seek resentencing by a trial court. A January 2016 decision by the Supreme Court in Montgomery v Louisiana now allows juvenile offenders to appeal their life without parole sentence. This ruling is particularly contentious here in Pennsylvania as current PA law does not allow those sentenced to Life in Prison to be eligible for parole. Moving forward, Pennsylvania will need to catch up to the latest Supreme Court ruling, and must now handle the hundreds of petitions for relief filed by juvenile lifers.
Making a Murderer, the new documentary series from the popular streaming site Netflix has ignited a firestorm of national conversation about the criminal justice system in America. Exploring the controversial and confusing case of Steven Avery, filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos have raised questions about the responsibilities of prosecutors and police and captured the attention of America.
A traffic stop can put fear in the average driver for a variety of reasons. At first, it may be unclear why an officer pulled you over. Were you speeding or swerving in and out of lanes? Did you miss a turn signal or stop sign? Is one of your taillights out? As we all know, even a minor infraction like a blinking light can warrant a traffic stop and from there, you are at the mercy of the officer who pulled you over.
Penn State is consistently recognized as one of the top party schools in the country and alcohol consumption is a consistent part of college life here in State College. However, sometimes students drink too much, and friends resist calling for help due to concerns about being cited with an underage drinking violation. But what people don't always know is that Pennsylvania Good Samaritan laws make exceptions for people who call to seek medical assistance for someone experiencing alcohol poisoning.
Just over a year ago, Pennsylvania joined over 25 states in passing what is commonly known as "revenge porn" laws. Generally, these laws criminalize the dissemination of explicit photographs by former romantic partners. Now, with the Pennsylvania law on the books for less than a year, state lawmakers are considering expanding the law. The push for expansion is driven by the perceived need to criminalize the dissemination of any explicit photographs without the subject's consent without regard to whether or not the photographer and the victim were previously involved in a romantic relationship.