The double jeopardy clause is one of the foundations of our criminal justice system. The Fifth Amendment guarantees that you can't be prosecuted twice for the same offense. If you're charged with a crime and a jury finds you not guilty, the prosecution doesn't get another shot. Without this protection, the prosecution could simply keep coming after you, and your right to a fair trial would be rendered worthless.
Earlier this week, the Canadian Senate voted to legalize recreational marijuana, overturning 95 years of prohibition. The groundbreaking vote has made Canada the second nation in the world (behind Uruguay) to legalize.
Over the past several years, state laws across the country have moved away from harsh penalties for personal marijuana use - penalties that disproportionately affect minorities and students. Today, medical marijuana is legal in the majority of states (31, including D.C.), and recreational marijuana is legal in nine.
It's a story that seems straight out of a CSI episode: A cold case involving a string of rapes and murders. A crime-scene DNA sample that sat in a freezer for decades. A forensic criminologist who thought outside the box to dig deeper. And a new technology that led him right to the suspect's doorstep.
Today is Day One of the North Carolina bar exam in Raleigh.
The two-day "event" pits law graduates' brains (and a bit of brawn) against the somewhat notorious and arduous test used to accept or deny admittance to the legal profession.
Two smart law students from North Carolina were the first to win our $2,500 bar exam scholarship, to help defray the costs of preparing for the February 2017 bar exam. July's next.
That's the question asked by the photographer Trent Bell, whose childhood friend was sentenced to 30-plus years in the cage, as described in Joe Berkowitz's piece for Fast Company. Cast as advice convicts would give their younger selves, Berkowitz's post and Bell's photographs illuminate the state of mind of one who may never have imagined getting locked up for a crime.