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June 2012 Archives

Washington, D.C., mayor suggests decriminalizing marijuana

Since medical marijuana was first approved in 2010, there have been some changes in how the Washington, D.C., government looks at marijuana usage, so much so that the mayor recently said that District officials should keep an open mind about relaxing or decriminalizing recreational marijuana use. As it is, someone charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession can be sentenced to prison for six months and be forced to pay a $1,000 fine. This is double the punishment that someone would face if they had just crossed the border into Montgomery County.

Drunk driving conviction indicates struggle with alcohol

When someone mentions a drunk driver in Montgomery County people are quick to condemn the action. While the topic of driving under the influence of alcohol is bound to raise some very strong opinions and emotions, few people look at a conviction for drunk driving as an indicator of a problem with alcohol.

Senate committee asks if solitary confinement is cruel punishment

Anyone who has been charged with a crime has likely thought about what would happen if they are found guilty. For some, it may just be a fine or a few days in jail. For others, it could be years or the rest of their lives in a Maryland prison. Though it may not always seem like it, there are protections available to everyone who has been found guilty of a crime, primarily the Eighth Amendment's prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.

Does Jerry Sandusky's personality disorder explain the charges?

Many people in Washington, D.C., have been following the Jerry Sandusky case closely since it broke earlier this year. The former assistant football coach has been charged with 52 charges of child sexual abuse, though one charge was recently dropped. But a psychologist recently testified that Jerry Sandusky has a histrionic personality disorder, which could explain the charges that have been leveled against him.

National study says longer prison sentences no longer reduce crime

At one point in our nation's history, legislators turned to studies that showed longer, harsher prison sentences would cause a drop in the crime rates. While prison sentences have, in some instances, reduced the amount of criminal activity, the PEW Center on the States says that they have only accounted for, at most, a one-third reduction. With the overall crime rate dropping, it appears that the need for longer prison sentences is ending.

In a search for robbery suspect, police handcuff 40 adults

There are certain things that police do that may just seem ridiculous to the people of Washington, D.C., and it seems that this is just what happened in a recent attempt to grab a suspect. Police were looking for someone they have accused of robbery when they received a tip that their suspected bank robber was at an intersection. Though police had this information, they didn't know which car the suspect was in or what the suspect looked like.

Can the government restrict sex offenders Internet usage?

Many people in Greenbelt know that people convicted of certain crimes in Maryland may lose certain rights, even after they have finished their punishment and are trying to get back into society. Whether it is losing the ability to vote or the freedom to live wherever they please, the restrictions on people who have been convicted of crimes is serious. Those people who have been convicted of sexual offenses may face a restriction on their use of the Internet.

Law Offices of
James N. Papirmeister, Esq.

Law Offices of James N. Papirmeister, Esq.
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Silver Spring, MD 20910

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As Published in Washingtonian Magazine | Washington's Best Legal Minds | 2013