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Samaritans, Stupidity, & You:
Do the Right Thing Dangit!

Man Drags Unconscious Passenger Off
Blue Line Train in Long Beach, CA:
Witness Said He Wanted to Avoid Delay

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On August 3rd of 2018, a video surfaced from California as a man in a suit drags an unconscious man off the train to avoid delay.

Controversial as this incident may be, the video depicts a white male in a suit dragging an unconscious black man. During the incident, the white male was recorded by a passenger on the train. The passenger explained how the unconscious man was wearing a medical bracelet, had metal staples in his skull, and threw up before going unconscious. In the video, onlookers expressed their anger towards the man in the suit by saying he had no right to assume he was partying, per an eyewitness. As an act of retaliation towards the man in the suit, the passengers held the train doors open, to prevent the train from leaving while they phoned the paramedics.

Once paramedics and officers arrived on the scene, the unconscious man was taken to the hospital, but the man in the suit was not investigated or a point of interest in this case. The video of this incident was posted on Youtube and gained momentum by its audience and local news stations. This is still an ongoing investigation.


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Questions:
1. Just because someone broke a law, that doesn’t mean they’ll always be prosecuted for it, so was it lawful for the man in the suit to drag the unconscious man to train platform, and would it lawful for him to leave the man behind?

2. In this case, the man in the suit will not be charged with this act, explain why you agree or disagree with this decision.

3. ‘Duty to rescue’ laws require people to help others if they witness someone in trouble and are able to help without endangering themselves.  Are there ‘duty to rescue’ or similar laws where you live, and do you agree with your community having or not having them? 


Be sure to provide full explanations for each of your answers. For more details, you can read the article this piece was sourced from here:

https://lbpost.com/news/crime/video-man-drags-unconscious-passenger-off-blue-train-train-in-long-beach-to-avoid-delay/

Contributed by – J. Pennington

A Montana Prosecutor Wants to Jail
Moms-To-Be Who Drink or Do Drugs

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On January 24th, 2018, the prosecutor’s office in Big Horn County, Montana is cracking down on any expectant mothers who use drugs or drink alcohol. A court attorney is fighting to seek restraining orders against those pregnant women and is encouraging the public to report drug or alcohol incidents to the sheriff department.

The reason behind this movement is to limit child abuse during labor and to make the mother accountable for her actions. According to the article, roughly half of all U.S. states now consider substance abuse during pregnancy to be child abuse. One way it is child abuse is a birth defect called ‘sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).’

On the flip side, if the government intervenes on the well-being of a mother and her baby, it will cause a slippery slope that will jeopardize with the well-being of the mother and the fetus. Another aspect is that a woman will refuse to seek help if they feel they will be reprimanded for their outreach, which causes a discrepancy within the health provider’s field.

When it comes to the aspect of law and justice, many roles are filled by police officers, prosecutors, and judges. Police officers are tasked to patrol certain areas and stop, and or prevent crime from happening. If there is probable cause or reasonable articulable suspicion, the officer has a right to issue a stop and act accordingly per state laws and policies. As for Prosecutors, if a person is charged with a crime, the prosecutor reviews all of the evidence that is presented within a case. Lastly, for the judge evaluates all of the aspects of the case and pleads the defendant guilty or not guilty.


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Questions:

1. Why do you think it is or is not ethical to prosecute expected mothers who use drugs or alcohol?

2. How is the mother hurting the unborn child while using drugs or alcohol?

3. Do you think the judge’s policy will help reduce the number of cases of SIDS in the community, have no impact on the number of cases, or cause an increase in the number of cases, and why do you think the policy will have that effect? 

4. Why do you feel the judge’s plan is the best one for the community, or what better solutions would you recommend and why would you recommend those over the one the judge has come up with?

Be sure to provide full explanations for each of your answers. For more details, you can read the article this piece was sourced from here:

https://projects.propublica.org/graphics/maternity-drug-policies-by-state

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/pregnant-women-big-horn-county-montana_n_5a674bf8e4b0e5630073b88c?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

Contributed by – J. Pennington

Is a $50 Traffic Ticket Worth
Losing your Independence Over?

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Angry because of a ticket resulting from a minor traffic infraction, a Maryland man, Eugene Matusevich, began relentlessly harassing the officer who wrote the ticket through texts, social media and more. These texts ranged from jokes about donut runs to sensitive personal details. How did he obtain this information?

A friend of his.

Zak Nicholas Thompson, who worked at a financial services company, had access to the officer’s name, phone number, home address, Social Security number, his financial information (including salary information)…even the make and model of the officer’s personal vehicle. He took that information and gave it to Matusevich.

The officer quickly became deluged with texts and phone calls soliciting offers from companies, including a drug rehabilitation center. Insulting messages about the officer were also posted to his family’s Facebook accounts along with demeaning messages about the neighborhood he lived in, and even the type of car he drove.

At one point, he received 17 texts in less than an hour from Matusevich.

Thompson’s lawyer explained his client’s intent wasn’t to aide Matusevich in a full blown harassment campaign of a law enforcement officer.  The lawyer implied that Thompson thought the information would only be used for an angry message or two by his friend.

 

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Questions:

1) The lawyer stated that this was not the case, but do you think that Thompson knew what he was doing when he provided his friend the police officer’s personal details and contact information?

2) Why do you think Thompson either realized or didn’t realize that by giving this information to his friend that he would be held responsible, even though he never contacted the officer?

Be sure to provide full explanations for each of your answers. For more details, you can read the article this piece was sourced from here:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/the-case-of-taunting-texts-sent-to-a-cop–you-there-fatboy–snares-alleged-accomplice/2018/02/05/8db00810-0ab5-11e8-95a5-c396801049ef_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-cards_hp-card-local%3Ahomepage%2Fcard

 

Learning Together:
What Are Social Host Liability Laws?

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Did you know you can get in trouble for what people do after attending a party you’ve thrown? A California court found the young host of a party liable for the death caused by one of his party’s attendees who had been drinking.

Andrew Ennabe was a 19-year-old college student who was killed by a drunk driver in 2007.  The drunk driver was Thomas Garcia.  On the night in question, Mr. Garcia became intoxicated while drinking at a house party in Diamond Bar CA in 2007. Now he is currently serving 14 years for manslaughter.

Andrew Ennabe’s family sued the party host, however the original California court in which the case was heard dismissed the case on the grounds that Ennabe’s family hadn’t proven the party host’s responsibility in the matter.  After the case was appealed, California’ s Supreme Court found that the case should be heard by the lower court under California’s social host liability laws.

While California may have a reputation for ‘progressive’ laws and the party host may not face criminal consequences in this particular case, the variety of cases which make their way through civil courts is plentiful.  While you should always consider your actions from ethical and moral standpoints, the legal consequences of the choices you make should also be a consistent factor in your decision making process.

Whether you are a teen heading off to college, a recent graduate with a close call, or a parent worried for your student now that they’re living away from their childhood homes, we encourage you to share your experiences and thoughts on this matter in our comments section.

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Questions:

1) What social-host liability exists in Nevada?  Is there criminal, civil, or both?

2) What is a situation you have been in where someone (maybe even you) could have ended up in trouble because of a ‘social host liability’ legal consequence? 

3) Other than holding a house party where underage people drink (or do drugs), now that you are almost 18 or having reached the age of 18, what is a situation that you could easily find yourself in where you or a friend could end up in trouble for ‘social host liability’ reasons (Imagine if you ‘go off to college’ – what could happen there)?

4) In context to your response to Question 3 above, what do you plan to do to limit your criminal and civil liability under ‘social host’ conditions once you move out and start living on your own?  

Be sure to provide full explanations for each of your answers. For more details, you can read the article this piece was sourced from here::

https://vargaslawoffice.com/important-update-california-social-host-liability-law/




Thank you for letting us experience court for the first time.  It was the best experience ever, thank you for everything. You really made me think about being a judge. Thank you


-Mina L [ Twitchell Elementary - Grade 5]

Project Real
2020-12-16T22:04:09+00:00
Thank you for letting us experience court for the first time.  It was the best experience ever, thank you for everything. You really made me think about being a judge. Thank you -Mina L [ Twitchell Elementary - Grade 5]

Thank you for letting us watch the civil case!  It was cool because it was a real case and not one played out. I had a lot of fun watching the other kids act out a session.  Thank you for your time.

- Kaylie [Hewetson Elementary - Grade 5]

Project Real
2020-12-11T20:39:35+00:00
Thank you for letting us watch the civil case!  It was cool because it was a real case and not one played out. I had a lot of fun watching the other kids act out a session.  Thank you for your time. - Kaylie [Hewetson Elementary - Grade 5]

My favorite part of the fieldtrip to the courthouse is when I got to play the part of Ron. I got to go on the witness chair and speaking. I helped Potter to be not guilty. Thank you for the great opportunity.


- Johnathan M  [Harmon Elementary - Grade 4]
Project Real
2020-12-16T21:47:04+00:00
My favorite part of the fieldtrip to the courthouse is when I got to play the part of Ron. I got to go on the witness chair and speaking. I helped Potter to be not guilty. Thank you for the great opportunity. - Johnathan M  [Harmon Elementary - Grade 4]
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