Category : Law

Controversy Law

California Looks to Remove Sensitive Language from State Law

law in california

California Governor Jerry Brown is contemplating the signing of a bill to remove the word ‘lynching’ from a decades-old state law, which makes use of the word to denote the act of wrestling a detainee from police custody. Since the arrest of a black activist during a Sacramento demonstration, lawmakers and supporters have been calling for a change, citing the irony of the activist having been charged under a law which was originally supposed to protect black detainees from lynch mobs. The bill was unanimously passed in California legislature following the uproar,

california governor law billWhat Would the Bill do?

The bill would change the language of the law to remove any mention of the word ‘lynching’, while keeping the law and its penalties essentially unchanged. The usage of the word came under fire for being outdated and obsolete in today’s society, as lynching is a particularly sensitive issue in African-American circles. During the 19th and 20th centuries, the lynching of African-Americans was relatively commonplace, particularly in the Southern states, and the use of the word has become somewhat taboo so if you need an attorney in Boston to handle your criminal defense case. Supporters have also called for the word to be struck from the penal code, stating its application as inappropriate.

What Does This Mean?

In terms of the actual application of the law in question, not much will change. The crime of wresting a detainee will continue to be a felony – as will the killing of a person by mob action – and the punishment – between two and four years in state prison – will remain the same. The matter is more one of legal sensitivity and the updating of existing laws for modern times. The law in question was drafted in 1933, and has since become outdated in its language. For this reason, it is important for lawmakers to cast their eyes back over previous laws to remove sensitive and outdated language and make the laws applicable to today’s society. If the law falls behind the society which it was written to protect, it ceases to be an effective safeguard. The activist in question has had their charges reduced to resisting arrest, which is a misdemeanor.

For cases in Boston, visit criminal lawyer Frank Fernandez.…

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Law Taxes

Oregon Legalizes Marijuana, Plans to Tax at Lower Rate

laws on legal marijuana

The legalization of marijuana is becoming an increasingly popular topic across the USA, with several states beginning to adopt the policy due to public pressure and taxation opportunities. Oregon has recently become the fourth state to take advantage of this trend, but not without its own legal stipulations.

What Does This Mean For Oregonians?

Under Measure 91, Oregonians will be allowed to legally own and even grow their own marijuana. These amounts are limited to half a pound (eight ounces) and four cannabis plants respectively. They will also be free to smoke at home, make consumable marijuana products for their own consumption, and even give and receive it as gifts.

What About Tax?

marijuana lawOne of the major draws for state governments legalizing marijuana is the taxation, as tax on marijuana can be quite and earner for the state government. Interestingly, however, Oregon is looking set to tax marijuana at a lower rate than the other states who have taken the plunge. House Bill 2041 stipulates that sales should be tax free until January 4th 2016 should they start selling at the end of 2015, increasing to a 17% tax with an option to expand to 20% later should they wish to.

It’s Not Quite Free Yet

As of July 1st, these measures will come into effect. However, lawmakers have not actually set up legal marijuana sales until late in 2016. Some fear that this could lead to the underground market growing their market while people purchase marijuana for personal use waiting for the legal sales. For this reason, some lawmakers are trying to speed up the process to bring legal sales forward to October 1st 2015.

Additionally, though Oregonians will be perfectly within their rights to smoke up at home, they still will not be allowed to smoke in public. Nor will they be entitled to bring marijuana in from any other state, even if purchased legally from one of the three other legal states (Alaska, Colorado, and Washington State). Since marijuana is still illegal on the federal level, moving it across state lines is prohibited.…

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Controversy Law

Florida Mandates 24-Hour Abortion Waiting Period

florida law

After a short delay by the court, Florida has passed a law stipulating a mandatory 24-hour waiting period prior to undergoing an abortion. The bill, named House Bill 633, was signed in this past June, and mandates anybody seeking an abortion to undertake a consultation meeting with a provider at least 24 hours before the procedure is scheduled. The law, some argue, will prevent young people from making decisions in haste and may help to curb the number of abortions caused by parental or partner pressure.

What Does This Mean?

abortion lawsAbortion can be an extremely traumatizing procedure like a traumatic brain injury, and several groups have expressed concern that too often women are coerced into abortion by boyfriends or spouses who do not wish to shoulder the responsibility of having a child. The law, according to Ned Khan, a divorce lawyer, allows for a period of thorough thought before enduring such a stressful operation. More importantly, however, the inclusion of a mandatory consultation in abortion proceedings brings it to the same level as most any other surgical endeavor, in which a medical professional sits with the patient and explains the risks and benefits of a procedure before performing it. The waiting period could allow for safer abortion procedures and more prepared patients in addition to the ‘thinking time’ suggested by certain parties.

What do the People Have to Say About This?

The Florida Right to Life group have expressed support for the law, claiming it to be a wise decision that allows for more thinking time on such a big decision, while not hindering access to abortions as a procedure. However, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Reproductive Rights have stated that the law marks a demeaning attack against the right of women in the state of Florida to make their own decisions on health care issues. They argue that such a law is unconstitutional, and have declared their determination to continue fighting the law at every chance they get. The law was passed in a 26-13 vote in the Florida Senate, and by a 77-41 vote in the Florida House. It was signed into law this June past by Governor Rick Scott.

Contact Ned Khan a Criminal defense lawyer if you’re in need of a lawyer…

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International Law

Copyright in the Online Space

digital copyright laws

copyright lawsCopyright is an increasingly hot issue, particularly with the emergence of online media. In contrast to ages past when copies were physical things such as CDs, books, and other such media, the online space has made copying a tricky thing for authorities to keep up with. The problem stems, it can be argued, with the fact that copyright law has simply not kept up with the evolutions in technology.

Copyright Law Today

Copyright law is very old and has, in many cases, simply not been updated to suit the way that online media works. In essence, copyright laws afford a creator a creative monopoly which prevents consumers from being entitled to make any copies of their works or products. Back in the days when such things were harder to achieve and more easily tracked, this type of law was fairly effective, as it stated that anything other than an official piece of work was illegal. However, in the online space, most everything nowadays is a copy. Notably, consider the use of MP3 files for personal use. Recently, the UK ruled that its legalization of ‘ripping’ CDs for use on personal MP3 files was unlawful, as it created an illegitimate copy of the data stored on the disc. For a personal injury lawyer, this type of ruling is incredibly problematic in an age in which many are digitizing a large portion of their physical media – including films and books – to preserve them for use in the modern day.

What Can Be Done?

Recently, the EU has been making amendments to a set of European copyright laws, making provisions for such things as the ripping of files for personal use, as well as things such as Digital Rights Management (DRM) not restricting a users’ right to make private copies of content that they have acquired legally through services such as iTunes or Amazon Music. Should these amendments prove successful, it remains to be seen whether other countries such as the USA – who are notorious for their legal battles over copyright infringement – will adopt similar updates to their copyright laws in order to bring these centuries old laws into the digital age.…

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Controversy Law

Anti-Vaccine Group Challenges California’s Ban on Unimmunized Children in Schools

In 2014, an outbreak of measles at the popular Disneyland resort in California prompted a huge response from Anti-Vaccine groups and Vaccine supporters alike. Some argued that the state should ban unvaccinated children from schools in order to ensure that they did not risk catching and spreading diseases to which they were not immune, while those who were anti-vaccine argued that some vaccines are potentially unsafe and that it should be the choice of the parent to vaccinate, not the court – contact Ned if you’re in need of a lawyer. However, Jerry Brown – governor of California – recently signed a bill imposing such restrictions.

What Does the Bill Mean?

This bill would require schoolchildren to be vaccinated against common diseases such as measles and whooping cough in order, they argue, to protect the student body as a whole. It would require unvaccinated children to be homeschooled in order to prevent their interaction with a large body of vaccinated children to whom their lack of immunity could prove a threat and from whom they could catch diseases to which they were not immune.


Some Groups Are Threatening to Take Legal Action

vaccine fightSome parental groups are very happy to see the changes imposed, as they believe the vaccinations to be beneficial to their children. However, there are many more who believe not only that vaccinations can be harmful, but more importantly that the legislation interferes directly with their parenting. They claim that the legislation is doing away with standing ideas such as informed consent and is infringing on their parental rights.

What do the Experts Say?

Most medical professionals are in consensus that vaccines are beneficial to everybody. They argue that while it is certainly true that there is no such thing as medical intervention without risk, it is in fact far more risky to leave a child unimmunized. There are some professionals who argue to the contrary, citing widespread side effects to vaccines that could potentially prove harmful to children in later life. However, Governor Brown and the courts have apparently fallen on the side of the former, agreeing that vaccines are beneficial to the community as a whole and supplying legislation to back their widespread adoption.

Ned Khan is a divorce lawyer as well as an outstanding criminal defense lawyer. Visit his website for your free consultation.…

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International Internet Law

China Introduces New Cyber Security Laws

cyber security

china cyber security lawChina has long been a country associated with an overbearing amount of control over its citizens, and its recent legislature only acts to reinforce this image. The new law – as indicated by State media – allows Chinese officials to hand out punishments and gag orders over online activity. The law is not, however, limited to cyber security, but its relatively vague wording makes it applicable to every walk of life – from finance to religion. The law gives the government the authority to take any steps necessary to protect what it perceives as China’s sovereignty.

What Does This Mean for China?

Following news this week that China is cracking down on ‘foul language’ in its media and online social networks such as Weibo, the new legislature is a clear sign that China’s government is determined to keep the same tight control on its citizens’ use of the Internet as it has on its own media outlets. The law stipulates that all network infrastructures and IT systems be made accessible so as to allow them to make them “secure and controllable.” Such a law is sure to cause controversy particularly with companies operating in China, who fear they may be forced to hand over sensitive data to the Chinese government.

What do People Think of This?

Unsurprisingly, many legal professionals are concerned at the vague wording and broad reach of such a law, citing that the legislation does not stipulate what conditions or actions receive punishment, nor what punishment will be received. In essence, this leaves the Chinese government with a blank check to punish those who they perceive to have threatened China’s national sovereignty in the online space. With no guidelines in place, it will be incredibly difficult for violators of the law to defend themselves or indeed to know that they were violating the law in the first place, making this law an effective weapon against anybody with whom the government disagrees. Government officials, on the other hand, state that the law is absolutely necessary as the rapidly expanding online space is posing threats to China’s national security. They assure the people that the laws will not impede on their legitimate rights or the country’s core interests.…

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