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.
By Gary Minor, criminal justice faculty at American Military University
In cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct, males are often given harsher sentences than females in similar situations. Is this fair in the eyes of the law?
Some states even have laws that allow different punishments based on gender.
By Vincent Giordano, program director, criminal justice at American Public University
In the past decade there has been a growing argument made within the criminal justice community that society should move toward decriminalizing so-called “victimless crimes.” Wilson and Kelling (as cited in Cole & Gertz, 2012) argue that the move to decriminalize behavior that is often viewed as not harming anyone would actually be greatly detrimental to a community.
By Dr. Vincent Giordano, Program Director, Criminal Justice at American Public University
Since the late 1900s, there has been a shift in how the criminal justice system deals with drug offenders by creating alternatives to lengthy prison sentences. Prior to the shift, the war on drugs resulted in large numbers of individuals being incarcerated for a multitude of offenses ranging from drug possession to drug trafficking.