As Kim Davis heads back to court, human-resources staff and employment lawyers around the country are revisiting their policies and practices around accommodating workers’ religious beliefs and practices. Davis is the Rowan County, Kentucky clerk who refused to issue marriage certificates to same-sex couples, contending that doing so would contravene her religious beliefs. Religious accommodation requests occur in many public agencies, including police departments. AMU professor Gary Minor writes about cases involving religious accommodation requests and their impact law enforcement agencies.
In the first five months of 2015, there were 306 fatal police shootings in the U.S., reported The Washington Post. All law enforcement-involved shootings are preventable if officers and citizens understand one another. AMU's Chuck Russo and Anthony Galante discuss what agencies and citizens can do to prevent police-involved shootings.
On May 21, the Restoring Education and Learning (REAL) Act was introduced to Congress that would allow state and federal prisoners to receive Pell Grants for a college education, even while incarcerated. There were many reasons why Congress banned Pell Grants to prisoners back in 1994, so why would Congress consider overturning its original decision? AMU professor Michael Pittaro writes about why he opposes this legislation and how there's not enough research to demonstrate that higher education specifically reduces recidivism. If the Pell Grant program is to be extended, it should focus on providing more money to hard-working, law-abiding students.
Erin Merryn was a victim of child rape and sexual abuse. In an effort to help other child victims, she has dedicated her life to pushing states to adopt Erin's Law, which requires schools to teach age-appropriate curriculum about sexual abuse to students in prekindergarten through fifth-grade. The purpose of this educational effort is to get victims to disclose abuse. Read more from AMU professor Michael Beshears about the progress of this law and why it has stalled in some state legislatures.
In the last few months, the news has been filled with stories about police officers shooting and killing unarmed fleeing criminals. Is it legal for officers to take such action? Under what circumstances can officers use deadly force on a fleeing suspect? AMU criminal justice professor, Gary Minor, writes about the legal rights of police officers to use lethal force.
The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 limits the use and participation of the military in policing the civilian population. As with any law, this act has both supporters and opponents. Those who support this legislation argue it’s essential in helping limit potential federal abuses of power. Opponents believe this act has fully outlived its usefulness in the post-9/11 world and should be abolished. Here's why this act needs to be updated.
By Stephanie M. Hunziker, PhD, criminal justice faculty at American Military University
Last week, the California State Senate passed SB-967, a bill that would affect all state-funded college campuses to redefine the meaning of consensual sex. For decades now, state lawmakers around the country have relied heavily on the “no means no” campaign against sexual assault and rape.