The U.S. Supreme Court has just heard arguments in a case where a criminal defense attorney overruled his client's decision to insist on his innocence at trial. In a Louisiana death penalty case, the attorney gauged that there was overwhelming evidence of the defendant's guilt.
Although President Trump is better known for his "tough on crime" rhetoric, he recently advocated for better services for prisoners once they're released. On a Jan. 11 roundtable with lawmakers and policy wonks, Trump said he wants to "break this vicious cycle" of recidivism that, for many, involves trouble reentering society once their sentences are served.
Reporting crime rates is important because it gives the public a sense of how dangerous their world is. Crime rates can also affect public policy, whether it is by pressuring Congress to pass new laws or by encouraging attorneys general to engage in crackdowns. Therefore, it's important for crime rates to be reported fairly and accurately -- and academic groups play a role in that.
In Colorado, the legal driving limit for Driving Under the Influence is 0.08. This means that if your blood alcohol content is .08 percent or higher -- and you are pulled over by police -- you will most likely end up being arrested and ticketed for driving under the influence. If you are stopped and have a blood alcohol content of 0.05 to 0.079, you will likely be charged with Driving While Ability Impaired. However, if you are under the age of 21, even a much lower blood alcohol content will result in a criminal charge.
Parties can quickly get out of hand. As more and more people show up, the crowd starts to swell. As more people talk, the music gets louder. As more drinks are poured, competing to be heard, voices grow louder and louder. Suddenly, the police are there, asking for the person in charge.
According to a civil rights lawsuit brought by the ACLU of Colorado, El Paso County spends around $250,000 on needless pretrial detention for people who judges have found no need to detain. Low-income defendants are being held because they can't afford a $55 service fee.
Every year in Colorado, thousands of people are pulled over and arrested for driving under the influence or driving while ability impaired. During the holiday season, police are going to be out in full force, looking for signs of drivers who may have had a few drinks with friends or family.
Colorado has seen changes to its drug laws in recent years, perhaps most notably in the area of recreational use of marijuana. Other recent changes have made the opportunity to seal convictions for drug-related offenses available to a wider range of people. Many courts and prosecutor's offices throughout the state have developed more sophisticated and effective ways to address drug-related charges. Still, Colorado's laws continue to impose serious consequences for drug possession and distribution. This evolving area of law reflects the criminal justice system's response to issues related to controlled substances in Colorado's communities.
In the last few years, texting and driving has become a focus of many transportation and police departments across the country. As studies continue to show distracted driving as a major cause of car accidents, many states have strengthened their laws prohibiting it. Colorado is no exception.
On a day-to-day basis, most of us do not give the Constitution that much thought. We know it is there to guarantee and protect our rights, but outside of this, many of us simply go about our days without really thinking about it -- that is -- until we learn the police were at our son or daughter's college apartment.