April 6, 2014
by Elizabeth LaForgia
The Maryland state House of Representatives passed a bill on Saturday that would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. The House voted 78 to 55 to impose civil fines, rather than criminal sanctions, on those caught with less than 10 grams of marijuana. Those in favor of the ...[read more]
March 28, 2014
by Amy Mathieu
The California Attorney General's Office on Thursday appealed a federal judge's decision striking down two sentencing laws. Judge Lawrence Karlton held that the laws were unconstitutional because they affected the punishment for crimes committed before the laws were enacted. Marsy's Law, ...[read more]
March 7, 2014
by Addison Morris
A Malaysian court on Friday overturned the High Court's acquittal of Anwar Ibrahim, sentencing the opposition leader to five years in prison for sodomizing a male aide in 2008. This conviction makes Anwar unable to run for chief minister of Selangor in next month's election, where he was ...[read more]
February 21, 2014
by Kimberly Bennett
New York has agreed to reforms that would reduce the use of solitary confinement and ban solitary confinement for prisoners under 18 years old, according to court documents released on Wednesday. Under the agreement, the state will immediately halt the use of solitary confinement for youth, ...[read more]
February 13, 2014
by Cynthia Miley
Italy's Constitutional Court on Wednesday struck down a drug law that tripled sentences for selling, cultivating or possessing marijuana. The constitutional court declared the law illegitimate without further elaboration. The cannabis law was blamed for causing Italian prison overcrowding, and an ...[read more]
January 27, 2014
by Cynthia Miley
The US Supreme Court ruled Monday in Burrage v. US to relax sentencing guidelines for drug dealers. Marcus Burrage was convicted of distribution of heroin causing death under 21 USC 841, and he appealed by challenging the causation instruction the courts were using for 841. Burrage ar... ...[read more]
January 14, 2014
by Julie Deisher
The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on Monday upheld the conviction and sentencing of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab for his attempted bombing on an American aircraft. Abdulmutallab was sentenced to life in prison in February 2012 after pleading guilty to all charges stemming from an ...[read more]
December 20, 2013
by Bradley McAllister
President Barack Obama on Thursday commuted the sentences of eight inmates currently serving lengthly prison terms for crack cocaine offenses, citing the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 (FSA). The FSA reduced significant disparities in convictions of drug offenses related to crack cocaine and powder ...[read more]
October 21, 2013
by Cynthia Miley
Three companies behind private juvenile detention and treatment facilities involved in a northeastern Pennsylvania juvenile justice scandal have settled a civil lawsuit for $2.5 million. The scandal involved two former judges for the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas, Mark Ciavarella Jr. and ...[read more]
August 28, 2013
by Elizabeth LaForgia
A coalition of international human rights groups on Tuesday criticized the trial and sentencing of more than 60 activists in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Last month the Supreme Court in Abu Dhabi sentenced a group of 69 people to prison for associating with the Reform and Social Guidance ...[read more]

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