July 2015 Archives

President Obama commutes sentences of 46 nonviolent offenders

Illinois residents may have heard that President Barack Obama commuted the sentences of 46 individuals, most of whom were nonviolent drug offenders, on July 13. The White House stated that the majority of those who received a commutation would have already served their sentences had current sentencing laws been in effect at the time of their convictions.

House Bill 218 to alter marijuana DUI laws

A bill before the governor of Illinois would change the state of DUI law for marijuana users, making it legal for individuals to drive with as much as 15 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood in their system. THC is the primary psychoactive chemical in marijuana. The governor has not made public whether he intends to sign the bill into law. Critics have pointed out that the new limit would be the highest in the United States. Colorado and Washington, which have legalized marijuana for recreational use, each use a limit of 5 nanograms.

The questioning of minors by law enforcement officers

Most Illinois residents will likely be familiar with the Miranda warning. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Miranda v. Arizona that police must advise individuals that they have the right to remain silent and speak with an attorney when they are taken into custody, and any incriminating statements made prior to these rights being explained could be ruled inadmissible. Arguments about the admissibility of statements made before a Miranda warning is given often hinge on whether or not a suspect was in custody at the time, and these arguments become more complex when the suspect in question is a minor.

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