The Legal Happenings

Rachel Sunderlin

Death by Sentence

The death penalty is currently a largely debated topic in courts nationwide. The death penalty is defined as the punishment of execution, administered to someone legally convicted of a capital crime. Some states still believe in practicing the death penalty, while others do not. Some that do perform the death penalty include Kentucky, California, Florida, and 29 others. Some that don’t perform the death penalty include Vermont, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and 15 others.             Recently in Kentucky, Kevin Wayne Dunlap, was sentenced to death in 2010 when he “stabbed and killed a 5 year old boy, and his 14 and 17 year old sisters in their home.  He then raped and attempted to murder their mother by stabbing her with a knife.  When he thought that the mother was dead, he set fire to the home and left.” This was according to Kentucky Department of Corrections.  He was convicted of, “murder (Capital)-3cts; Kidnapping-Victim Death (Capital)-3cts; Kidnapping-With Serious Physical Injury; Rape 1st Degree with Serious Physical Injury; Arson 1st Degree; Criminal Attempt-Murder; Burglary 1st Degree; Tampering With Physical Evidence-3cts.”                            There are countless cases nationwide that include the controversial death sentence.  Back in the day, the death sentence was very common; some people were hung or shot.  Death Penalty has many pros and cons. Many could argue that the death penalty keeps dangerous criminals from entering our streets and hurting other civilians again, it’s also saves tax money from being sent to provide for the men or women in prison. The thought of being penalized with death could prevent crime from happening in the first place. With expertise technology and DNA information we can be exact with examinations, and also it will provide a peace of mind to parents and children. Others argue for the other side. They believe rotting in jail has a greater punishment rather than having a ticket out of their pains, so they constantly have to think about the wrongs they committed. It’s also not morally correct, they could put to death the wrong person, and how does killing someone for their wrong teach anyone that killing is bad?  This debate will probably continue for ages about what is right. For now, it’s up to each state and their views on the subject.
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Bullying in the 21st Century

With the increase in technology, it seems that no one communicates via face to face. This also means the form of bullying is evolving as well.  There’s texting, group texts, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and many other social Medias that have been used to pick on people. Back in the day, bullying entailed of physical and sometimes mental damage, but with cyber bullying, mental damage is most prominent.  Adolescents deal with confidence issues and a degrading tweets that can be ridiculously cruel, just like in Jason Thomas’ case.  Seventeen year old, Thomas had sent over 100 text messages to Sophomore Danielle Cox at his high school encouraging her to kill herself. She took her life May 24th, 2011 and the family pleas it was due to cyber bullying. This offense is no laughing matter and is harassing teens and even ones older and younger.  If we don’t take this problem seriously now, the consequences are only going to get worse.  We don’t need more teens to commit suicide at such a young age like Danielle. This ends now.
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Driving While InTEXTicated

According to, there are 1,600,000 accidents with 330,000 injuries per year due to texting and driving. These numbers continue to rise.  Due to the increases in technology, it seems most drivers nowadays care more about his or her precious phone than the other drivers on the road. Texting and driving not only puts you in danger, but also everyone else on the road. There are many alternatives such as hands free devices like Bluetooth, a passenger who can text for you, or simpley turning your phone off while behind the wheel. No text is worth the risk or possibly permanent consequences that could arise, like the story of Elizabeth Meyers of Maryland. “Meyers pulled her 2008 Chevy Cobalt into the path of a 2007 Suzuki motorcycle being driven by Jonathan Wesley Roberts, 30, of Virginia. The motorcycle struck the driver’s side of the Cobalt. Roberts was taken to Baltimore Washington Medical Center in Glen Burnie, where he was pronounced dead,” According to the Maryland Gazette. She is being charged with manslaughter and texting while driving. This is another problem that needs our full attention, because it affects every single child, mother, brother, grandparent etc. on the road. Help each generation and take a pledge to stop driving while inTEXTicated.

Alcohol, Poisoning Teens Everyday

In 2012, nearly three-quarters of students have consumed alcohol by the end of high school, and more than a third had done so by the end of eighth grade. Alcohol consumption with teens has always been a serious issue nationwide. Teens that start drinking before they turn 15 are five times more likely to become dependent upon alcohol or abuse it later in life than those who try it at the legal age of 21. In 2012, there were approximately 189,000 emergency room visits of injuries linked to alcohol consumption of minors. Not only are teens consuming alcohol, but with little experience driving, they also think they can drink and drive. The three leading causes of death for 15 to 24-year-old are car crashed, homicides, and suicide. Alcohol plays a leading factor in all three of those. If you’re under the age of 21, it is illegal to consume alcohol. It is also illegal to buy and provide those underage with alcoholic beverages, no matter the circumstances. Awareness of these laws is the first step to stopping the outbreak.

To Legalize Gay Marriage, or Not To?

I interviewed Keona Saifizadeh, an 18-year-old at Greenwood High School to find out her input on the matter. She believes it should be legal to marry the same sex. Just because someone has different "tastes" than us, doesn't mean they should be penalized for that. Filing taxes as a married couple instead of independents can be very useful, and everyone should enjoy that privilege. She also told me specificly she would legalize it so she could marry me for the chocolate, Orea Balls I make. Besides that matter she still fully supports the motion.