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May 2012 Archives

Sports Gambling Could Become Legal in New Jersey, Although Feds May Disagree

If all goes well, sports gambling could be legal in New Jersey this fall, at least according to the state. What the federal government will do about it is another matter - New Jersey is not one of the four states that are allowed by federal law to run betting operations on football, basketball and other sporting events.

Have a criminal record? Looking for jobs might get a little easier.

This year, 700,000 people will leave prison and attempt to re-enter their communities, but for many this is not an easy task. Finding work is difficult for most people these days. With stigmas concerning criminal records, it can feel impossible to get a job after serving a jail sentence, but that is about to change.

Prosecutor aiming to stop demand for sex trafficking by charging johns

Sex trafficking is only a profitable business so long as there is demand, and one prosecutor is trying to shut down the demand. A Manhattan district attorney is not only charging sex traffickers, but also has arrested the johns.

Is a New York district attorney too lenient on sexual abuse allegations for some?

Sex offenses in some ultra-Orthodox communities in New York are seen as a community matter in which the police should not play a role. Some advocacy groups are arguing that one district attorney shares these views. Groups are criticizing Brooklyn district attorney Charles Hynes for failing to pursue cases of sexual abuse in ultra-Orthodox communities and for being too lenient on accusations against rabbis and other members of the community.

Ex-cop sentenced to 75 years for predatory sexual assault in New York

An ex-cop was sentenced to the maximum term for sexually assaulting a schoolteacher who was on her way to work. Michael Pena, who had been working as a law enforcement officer for three years at the time of the attack, was convicted of predatory sexual assault, among other charges, and was sentenced to 75 years to life for his crimes.

File-sharing leads to child pornography charges in New Jersey, part two

Peer-to-peer networks expose everyone on the network to unexpected criminal liability and many other risks. The last post discussed what is happening to 27 people from New Jersey who allegedly used peer-to-peer networks (P2Ps) to share child pornography. While P2P users can unknowingly commit many possession and sharing crimes, there are other dangers to P2P use.

File-sharing leads to child pornography charges in New Jersey, part one

The use of peer-to-peer networks are behind child pornography charges that have been lodged against 27 people in New Jersey. With the potential for 10 years in prison, the charges make it clear that peer-to-peer networks, also known as P2Ps, are more dangerous than they first appear. While P2Ps can be a great way to share information, unknowing users could be not only be guilty of possessing, but of sharing child pornography.

NJ Supreme Court to rule on process for sending teens into adult court

The Campaign for Youth Justice reports that around 250,000 juveniles are tried as adults every year throughout the United States. When teens are tried in adult court, the charges are usually significant - murder, aggravated assault and other violent felony crimes.

Will New Jersey enact expanded drug court? Stay tuned.

A 31-year-old Tom's River native is hoping to become the poster child for an expanded drug court program. Alan Cotugno has been arrested at least 35 times for drug crimes and related offenses and served about 7 years in prison or jail. He believes that drug court will allow him to get the treatment he needs to conquer his addiction and has written New Jersey governor Chris Christie to tell him so. However, if the legislature and governor cannot agree on a program, Cotugno's opportunity may slip away.

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