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December 2013 Archives

Legal banking for medical marijuana businesses expected next year

Even in states where marijuana is legal for medical or recreational purposes, the fact that the drug is still prohibited by federal law has created innumerable challenges to setting up a safe, regulated marijuana industry. It may surprise you to learn that one of the main roadblocks has been federal banking law.

Will Black Friday shooting defendant plead Stand Your Ground?

Another apparently-unarmed, African-American teenager was recently killed in Florida, and the defendant is again expected plead self-defense to murder charges. Unfortunately, many in the press have seen the lure of painting this incident as a re-run of the George Zimmerman case, and that could lead to a dangerous miscarriage of justice.

Study: Federal sentencing causes shocking penalties, coerced pleas

Around 97 percent of all federal criminal defendants end up pleading guilty, typically through plea bargains with prosecutors. According to a recent study, those who agree to plead guilty end up serving less an average of 11 fewer years in prison than those who go to trial. Negotiated sentences should be lower, or defendants wouldn’t bother accepting them. That would grind our courts to a halt.

Cyberstalking is no joke, and neither is being prosecuted for it

In light of the recent, high-profile case in which a teen committed suicide after being bullied at school and online, a number of people have raised the question of whether Florida’s new cyberbullying laws are effective. The new laws, which went into effect on July 1 of this year, expanded the legal definitions of stalking and harassment under Florida law to include behavior that occurs via electronic communications, such as on Facebook.

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