Any program made widely available to the public runs the risk of being abused by the very people it is meant to help. This remains true whether the program is to help pay the medical costs of those who are unable to afford them or put food in the bellies of hungry children. Those who seek to get rich abusing the public assistance provided to others run the risk of harsh penalties, including severe prison sentences. Law enforcement agencies are starting to focus in more on businesses as these entities get involved with defrauding the food stamp program.
Immigrants in America can face some serious challenges. As with most discriminatory practices and beliefs, perceptions about immigrants are hard to change. Over the last century, Hispanics have replaced the Irish as probably the one group of immigrants that faces the most problems, and the practice of making it difficult for immigrants to gain legal status or otherwise feel welcomed in the U.S. has continued.
Millions of United States citizens are without the right to vote due to a previous felony conviction. A majority of states have laws which either ban felons outright from voting or make it so difficult to vote that many give up before completing the required process. Some states have recently made it easier for felons to regain their voting rights; some have gone as far as reinstating the right to vote after the individual's sentence has been served. Others are moving to further restrict convicted felons from voting. In Arizona, efforts to restore voting rights for felons have stalled as lawmakers are having trouble even bringing the issue up for a hearing.
There are times where being a thief in the United States carries with it more contempt then those that take the lives of others. But even this characterization comes with bias as white collar criminals often get slaps on the wrist in minimal security prisons while their poorer counterparts face long jail sentences for a single break-in.
One of the most troubling problems with the current legal system is the power and immunity prosecutors and judges wield. Prosecutorial immunity protects them even in cases where a mistake they made or a prejudice they carry leads to an innocent person spending time behind bars. With such power prosecutors have the luxury of worrying little about the law and actual facts of a case and focusing more on the results they seek to gain, which can lead to aggressive prosecution of the accused.
One of the penalties of the so-called war against crime is the number of crimes an individual can be charged with. A person agrees to robbery with another and unbeknownst to them their partner takes a weapon and ends up killing an individual. Under the laws of most if not all states in the United States the person with no knowledge of the weapon can and likely will be charged with felony murder. This gives great leeway to prosecutors to run up the charges on an individual regardless of their actual personal actions and alleged crimes.
Although citizens in the United States enjoy the right to bear arms and protect themselves from harm, there are limits to this right. Most cities across the county have laws that criminalize the unlawful discharge of a weapon within city limits. In Arizona, unlawfully discharging a firearm within a city is a felony offense. This change was made after a young girl died in her backyard when a bullet fell through the top of her head. Bullets, even those fired by police, do not always hit the intended target and there is always a very real danger of collateral damage when a firearm is discharged.
In most situations involving police it is best to comply with their orders even when one's actions are not contrary to the law. There are exceptions to this rule such as situations when officers attempt to get witnesses not to record their illegal actions.
The New Year is a time of joy and cheers the world over. While every person celebrates the holiday a little differently, there are many who take to the streets celebrating with gunfire. Shooting guns into the air has been a New Year's tradition for decades, and for years it has caused unintended damage, injuries and occasionally even an accidental death.
The United States illegal drug trade is an annual multi-billion dollar industry. While the United States government spends hundreds of millions of dollars enforcing badly-written laws, drug cartels' profits continue to grow. Although most states are moving toward decriminalizing and even legalizing and regulating marijuana, it is still a banned substance federally and locally in many jurisdictions. Those alleged to be involved in the drug trade still face the harsh consequences of laws that may have been written out of fear rather than wisdom.