4/29/11: Good or Bad Plea Deal?
The couple charged with kidnapping and raping Jaycee Dugard for 18 years accepted plea deals in exchange to pleading guilty. Under the arrangement, Nancy Garridos, 55, would be eligible for parole in 31 years.
The plea deal will spare Jaycee Dugard, 30, and her two daughters, 13 and 16, from testifying against the couple. See Details.
Poll: Was this a good or bad plea deal? Vote
4/24/11: Too Tough or Not?
4/15/11: Should Dating Sites Screen Members?
The Internet dating site, Match.com, is being sued by a California woman after she went on a second date with a man she met through the service, who then followed and allegedly sexually attacked her at her home.
The lawsuit is asking for a temporary injunction preventing Match.com from signing up new members until they agree to screen for sexual predators.
Should online dating services screen the criminal history of its members? Vote
4/9/11: Legally Incompetent Sex Offender Freed
In 2007, registered sex offender Lonnie Hyrum Johnson was charged with sexual assault plus 21 other charges, including rape and sodomy. Johnson, who has been diagnosed with a cognitive disorder, was found too incompetent to stand trial and has remained in the Utah State Hospital until he was set free because his psychiatrist said he was not a danger to himself or to society.
Judge James Taylor, who released Johnson said, "The constitution prohibits me from holding someone who has not been convicted and who cannot participate in their own defense."
Poll: Can a sex offender be considered safe if they are too incompetent to stand trial? Vote
4/1/11: Sex Offender Databases
Almost all states now offer websites where the photos and last known home addresses of sex offenders is on file for citizen review.
Poll: Have you looked at your state's database of sex offenders in the last six months? Vote
3/35/11: Do You Agree With the Judge?
This week the judge in the Casey Anthony case decided to allow statements made by Casey Anthony to police while she was still a witness in the disappearance of her daughter and statements she made to family members and others after she was arrested and jailed can be used against her at her trial. See details.
Poll: Do You Agree With the Judge? Vote
3/19/11: Should Names of Gun Owners be Made Public?
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced that a list of firearm permit holders within the state should be public information. This comes after a reporter for The Associated Press made a Freedom of Information Act request to the Illinois state police for information about all gun owners and the weapons that they carry.
Poll: Should the Names of Gun Owners be Made Public? Vote
3/11/11: Should Capital Punishment be Banned?
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a law banning the death penalty starting July 1, 2011. He also commuted the sentences of the 15 inmates on death row to life sentences without parole.
Opponents of the ban argue that today's advancements in DNA technology and videotaped interrogations help protect the innocent against the possibilities of wrongful executions.
Poll: Should capital punishment be banned? Vote
Last week Brooke Mueller filed a restraining order against Charlie Sheen, saying that the "Two and a Half Men" star threatened her repeatedly. A few hours later, police removed the couple's two children from Sheen's home. Also, according to Mueller, Sheen allegedly kept the children when it wasn't his turn and wouldn't let her see them.
Poll: Did the police have legal grounds to remove the children from Sheen's home? Vote
2/25/11: First or Second-Degree Murder?
Elisa Baker has been indicted for second-degree murder of her stepdaughter, 10-year-old Zahra Baker. The grand jury also found that there had been a history of Baker abusing the physically challenged child. Because Baker was indicted on second-degree and not first-degree murder, she cannot be sentenced to death or to a life sentence if found guilty.
Poll: Should Elisa Baker be charged with first or second-degree murder? Vote