In the criminal justice system, prosecutors and defense attorneys often rely upon forensic evidence. Forensic experts are trained to use science to examine evidence and discover truths. However, information uncovered in recent years shows that much of the forensic and scientific truths used to convict hundreds to thousands of individuals in the U.S. were likely based on little more than speculation and convenience.
In this blog, we've previously highlighted concerns about the constitutionality of Minnesota's Sex Offender Program. Perhaps more than any other convicted offenders, those convicted of sex crimes face some of the most punitive and intrusive of all penalties.
For decades now, medical researchers have been mapping the human genome and conducting human trials of genetic testing. As a result, today an individual who fears that he or she may develop the same deadly form of cancer as a parent can undergo genetic testing. Increasingly, scientists are also studying and examining the role that genetics may play in influencing human behavior.
In Minnesota, an individual under the age of 18 is legally considered to be a minor. Both federal and state laws exist to protect minors from suffering exploitation and harm. Laws related to child pornography are among some of the strictest and individuals who either knowingly or unknowingly violate these laws face severe penalties.
From unwanted touching of a sexual nature to attempted rape, when pursing criminal charges, many states classify crimes of a sexual nature under the umbrella term of sexual assault. Depending on the nature of the accusations and ages of involved parties, charges related to sexual assault may be prosecuted as misdemeanors or felonies. Any criminal conviction related to a sex crime has serious consequences and those facing such charges would be wise to contact a criminal defense attorney.
Last month, a 50-year-old Minnesota man learned he will be released from the secured facility which he has called home for the last 22 years. While still a teenager, the now 50-year-old man was convicted of "sexually assaulting two women" and was committed to Minnesota's Sex Offender Program.
In any criminal matter where charges are filed, factors related to evidence, motive and intent must be thoroughly investigated and considered. Professionals like criminologists and psychologists are routinely called upon to investigate criminal activities to determine why an individual may have committed a crime and how to prevent similar crimes from occurring. However, what if some individuals are genetically predisposed to engage in criminal activities?
Today's teenagerss and young adults have grown up during the Internet and mobile age. For these youths, communicating and sharing photos via the Internet and cellphones has become second-nature. However, when it comes to sharing images that are considered to be sexually-explicit in nature, the potential social, academic and legal consequences can be severe.
A recent article on our website discusses Minnesota's sentencing requirements with regard to sex crimes. Also discussed are the qualifying criteria that make up the three levels of Minnesota's sex offender registry. In Minnesota, frequently individuals who are convicted of a crime that is deemed to be sexual in nature are required to register with the state as a sex offender. This wasn't, however, always the case and today some question the effectiveness of sex offender registries and whether they ultimately serve to help or harm society as a whole.
In 1994, members of Congress passed legislation requiring states to keep track of individuals convicted of certain sex crimes. Since that time, state sex offender registry laws have grown more inclusive and punitive, the effects of which have served to both destroy the lives of many individuals convicted of sex crimes and also hinder law enforcement officials in identifying and tracking violent sex offenders.