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Students ‘eat, sleep, breathe law and justice’ while preparing for Supreme Court panel

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Students ‘eat, sleep, breathe law and justice’ while preparing for Supreme Court panel

Sean Quinn, Staff Reporter

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Every year, CWU hosts the Symposium of University Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE) event in the SURC. The showcase provides students and faculty an opportunity to exhibit their work in a university-wide forum. One of the panels at SOURCE was the Law and Justice Panel, specifically focusing on recent United States Supreme Court cases. R. Shaffer Claridge, lecturer in the law and justice department, believes SOURCE provides students the chance to get a deep look at law without being in his major.

“This is also a great opportunity for these students and any [CWU] student to take what they’ve learned in the classroom and present an academic level presentation on it. I think that’s unique to [CWU], that we give students that opportunity,” Claridge said.

At this year’s event, law and justice and political science majors presented their studies of six different Supreme Court cases at the panel in the SURC Theater. The group of students covered recent cases that not only have state-by-state consequences but also affect the nation as a whole.

“The Supreme Court gets to choose [the cases] they take and they only take issues of national importance,” Claridge said. “So all of these cases could presumably have implications on [CWU] student lives.”

Several of the cases during the panel focused on the legality of numerous state laws, like Wisconsin’s implied consent law in Jahkari Aujla-Singh’s presentation on Mitchell v. Wisconsin. Another focused on Christianna Hopson’s feature on gerrymandering in Maryland. The panel discussed how decisions by the Supreme Court on state cases set a precedent that affects all United States citizens.

Specifically, Aujla-Singh’s case revolved around the Fourth Amendment regarding privacy. The petitioner of the case Gerald P. Mitchell, had blood drawn without consent by police after being arrested for DUI. The case, which could set a precedent for how law enforcement interacts with citizens as well as the privacy of our bodies, is still pending.

“I think it’s important because it doesn’t just affect everybody around the nation but students here in Ellensburg should be able to know the rights that they have…to be able to protect themselves and not have to commit to giving things such as bodily fluids if they don’t want to,” Aujla-Singh said.

There were other cases discussed at the panel including Ronnie Burris’ presentation on the protections of indigenous people’s rights and their land, Megan Fore’s production regarding the Eighth Amendment and the death penalty, Katelyn Griffith’s lecture on the fabrication of evidence, statute of limitations and the right to a fair trial. The panel ended with a delivery from Breanna Wilson talking about the separation of powers and the United State’s Attorney General’s role in the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.

Preparing for the presentation was important for these students. Hopson described how much of her preparation came in terms of meeting with her professors, making edits to her slides and practicing her speech.

“It’s like eat, sleep, breathe law and justice,” Hopson said. “I feel as if doing this presentation up there is letting me teach other people while still being an undergraduate.”

Presentations at SOURCE came from a variety of departments on campus.The American Sign Language program demonstrated storytelling with nonverbal sign language. Students from the College of the Sciences held poster sessions demonstrating their findings in experiments done over the course of the school year. Guests from other universities also came to CWU to give presentations such as Rashad Norris from Highline College.

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One Response to “Students ‘eat, sleep, breathe law and justice’ while preparing for Supreme Court panel”

  1. Vicki Henry on May 18th, 2019 3:41 pm

    Women Against Registry advocates for the families who have loved ones required to register as sexual offenders.
    More about the issue:
    According to the NCMEC map there are over 912,000 men, women and children (as young as 8 and 10 in some states) required to register and the “crimes” range from urinating in public (indecent exposure), sexting, incest, mooning, exposure, false accusations by a soon-to-be ex-wife, angry girlfriend, or spiteful student, viewing abusive OR suggestive images of anyone 18 years old or younger, playing doctor, prostitution, solicitation, Romeo and Juliet consensual sexual dating relationships, rape, endangering the welfare of a child, the old bait-n-switch internet stings (taking sometimes 12 months before a person steps over the line) guys on the autism spectrum or with intellectual disabilities and many others.

    If you multiply the number on the registry by 2 or 3 family members you can clearly see there are well over 3 million wives, children, moms, aunts, girlfriends, grandmothers and other family members who experience the collateral damage of being murdered, harassed, threatened, children beaten, have signs placed in their yards, homes set on fire, vehicles damaged, asked to leave their churches and other organizations, children passed over for educational opportunities, have flyers distributed around their neighborhood, wives lose their jobs when someone learns they are married to a registrant….all these things occur when these people try to hold their family together and provide the three things that professionals indicate are needed for successful reintegration; a job, a place to live and a “positive” support system.

    The Supreme Court’s Crucial Mistake About Sex Crime Statistics – ‘Frightening and High’ (Debunks the 80% recidivism rate cited by now SCOTUS Justice Kennedy)

    It is very important that you read the abstract below and then the full 12 page essay by Ira Mark and Tara Ellman.
    ABSTRACT This brief essay reveals that the sources relied upon by the Supreme Court in Smith v. Doe, a heavily cited constitutional decision on sex offender registries, in fact provide no support at all for the facts about sex offender re-offense rates that the Court treats as central to its constitutional conclusions. This misreading of the social science was abetted in part by the Solicitor General’s misrepresentations in the amicus brief it filed in this case. The false “facts” stated in the opinion have since been relied upon repeatedly by other courts in their own constitutional decisions, thus infecting an entire field of law as well as policy making by legislative bodies. Recent decisions by the Pennsylvania and California supreme courts establish principles that would support major judicial reforms of sex offender registries, if they were applied to the facts. This paper appeared in Constitutional Commentary Fall, 2015. Google: Frightening and High Essay

    A study reviewing sex crimes as reported to police revealed that:
    a) 93% of child sexual abuse victims knew their abuser;
    b) 34.2% were family members;
    c) 58.7% were acquaintances;
    d) Only 7% of the perpetrators of child victims were strangers;
    e) 40% of sexual assaults take place in the victim’s own home;
    f) 20% take place in the home of a friend, neighbor or relative (Jill Levenson, PhD, Lynn University)

    There is a tremendous need to fund programs like “Stop It Now” that teaches about grooming behaviors and other things at age-appropriate levels in their Circles of Safety.

    Our question to the public is one of, when does redemption begin? Ever? Never?

    We support the principles of Restorative/Transformative Justice; restore the victim, restore the offender AND restore the community.

    Lastly, our country is proud to be ‘the incarceration nation’ with 5% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s incarcerated.

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