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Civil Rights

The Case of Cyntoia Brown: Is it Fair to Give a Life Sentence at Age 16?

Cyntoia Brown is currently 14 years into a life sentence for murder – a sentence the Tennessee jury gave her in 2004 at just 16 years old. According to Brown, the murder she committed was in self-defense. Her case states that she was a rape victim forced into prostitution. At age 16, she killed a…

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What Rights Do You Lose as a Convicted Felon in Georgia?

You might know that a conviction can be troublesome for your future, but do you understand all of the rights and freedoms you stand to lose as a convicted felon? Felony convictions can follow a person around forever, interfering with employment and housing opportunities as well as many other aspects of life. The myriad of…

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What Are the Differences Between Record Sealing, Pardons, and Expungements?

Like most states, Georgia has laws in place that give certain convicted criminals the opportunity to erase, reverse, or seal their records. Three different options exist depending on the situation and the individual’s goals for his or her case: record sealing, pardon, and expungement. Each involves a different legal process with very different outcomes for…

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What Is the Difference Between Civil Libel and Criminal Libel?

America’s criminal and civil court systems operate entirely separate from one another: the criminal justice system serves to convict people of crimes and penalize them with sentences, such as fines and jail time, whereas the purpose of the civil justice system is to provide financial recovery to individuals and families who suffer harms because of…

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Can Verbal Threats Be Charged Criminally?

A victim might have hard evidence against someone who leaves a written threat or intimidating text message, but what if the individual simply spoke the threat out loud, with or without witnesses? Charging a verbal threat as a crime can be tricky in terms of presenting evidence and building a case against the defendant. Still,…

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Does the 3-Strikes Law Exist in Georgia?

Receiving a felony conviction in Georgia can seriously impact your future. You won’t only be looking at a few month or years in jail, but at a lifetime of consequences to your career, housing, education, relationships, and life. As someone with a felony charge against you, you must take serious thought about preparing your defense….

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Genealogy Databases for Criminal Investigations: The Laws Around Using DNA in an Investigation

Dozens of years after the “Golden State Killer” case had gone cold in the state of California, prosecutors utilized a third-party genealogy database to arrest the accused perpetrator – Mr. Joseph James DeAngelo, a former police officer. This astounding criminal case triumph has led many to question the use of sensitive personal information from genealogy…

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Why Do Innocent People Plead Guilty?

The criminal justice system in the United States is decidedly flawed. Every day, the criminal and civil justice systems convict innocent people, and every day guilty defendants go free, released from criminal and civil obligations. Innocent people (11%) have pleaded guilty to crimes for which they were exonerated by DNA evidence. The law should be…

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What Happens to Your Property If You Go to Jail?

Generally, it takes several months between the time of an arrest and conviction for felony cases in the United States. You should safeguard your property and monetary assets before you begin serving a sentence. Take care of these necessities when you are out on bail or before a plea deal. If you are facing time…

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The Effects of Solitary Confinement

Solitary confinement is a type of incarceration in which an inmate has almost no contact with anyone else for the duration of his or her sentence. Solitary confinement cells are often called a “prison within a prison” and exist to keep prisons safer in many ways. However, an extended stay in solitary confinement can take…

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