Thursday’s Children and the Law News Roundup

Indiana Can’t Kick Sex Offenders off Social Media, Court Says, CNN

Indiana can’t kick all registered sex offenders off instant messaging services, chat rooms or social networking sites like Facebook, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.

The state passed a law in 2008 that was aimed at keeping predators from trolling the Internet for new victims. But that law “broadly prohibits substantial protected speech rather than specifically targeting the evil of improper communications to minors,” a three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals concluded.

State courts can impose limits on social media as a condition of a sex offender’s probation or parole, but a “blanket ban” on Internet use violates the First Amendment’s guarantee of free expression, the judges found.

A district judge in Indianapolis had upheld the law in June, but federal courts in at least two other states — Nebraska and Louisiana — struck down similar state laws in 2012.

There’s More to Baltimore than Prisons, The Baltimore Sun

I once sat with a group of inner-city Baltimore kids, mostly 12-year-olds, who were being asked what they wanted to be when they grew up.

Police officer. Prison guard. Judge.

Those were the boys at least. The girls mostly seemed to aspire to cosmetology, which was depressing in its own way.

There’s nothing wrong, of course, with being a cop or corrections officer or a judge. But the fact that no other jobs came to mind reflected how very narrow was their world: You were either the guy getting arrested, tried and jailed, or the guy doing the arresting, trying and jailing.

CASA Volunteers Read to Help Kids, The Cincinnati Enquirer

Kayla Hickman of Amelia said she is looking forward to “helping kids and families” as a court-appointed special advocate for children in the CASA for Clermont Kids program.

Hickman and five other volunteers who completed 40 hours of special training were sworn in Jan. 17.

Amada List, executive director of CASA, said the volunteers completed the training to prepare them to be advocates in court for abused, neglected and dependent children.

“By using well-trained volunteers, juvenile court saves the cost of appointing attorneys to serve as guardians for the children,” List said.

In 2012, CASA for Clermont Kids served 222 children, List said.

New Mexico Teen Accused of Gunning Down Family ‘Lost Sense of Conscience”, CNN

The chilling acts the 15-year-old boy is accused of defy imagination:

Pumping his mother, brother and two younger sisters with bullets.

Gunning down his dad when he returned home.

Texting a picture of his lifeless mother to his 12-year-old girlfriend.

Plotting to kill strangers outside a supermarket.

But, family members say, Nehemiah Griego is no monster. They can’t fathom what could have gone so terribly wrong.

“Whether it was a mental breakdown or some deeper undiagnosed psychological issue, we can’t be sure yet,” his uncle, former New Mexico state Sen. Eric Griego, said.

Allison Arterberry

About Allison Arterberry

Allison Arterberry is a third year student at the University of Houston Law Center. She graduated from Texas A&M University in 2011 with a B.A. in Political Science and Spanish. She has spent parts of her last two summers interning at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Currently, she is a Senior Articles Editor for the Houston Journal of International Law, the Secretary for the Labor & Employment Law Society as well as a member of the Career Development Student Advisory Board and the Association of Women in Law. Additionally, last year she was the Secretary for Aggie Law Society. Allison is most interested in child victim’s rights in the criminal system.

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