In August, Attorney General Eric Holder told federal prosecutors to no longer hit low-level drug offenders with charges that carry mandatory minimum sentences. But it's not yet clear how broadly that directive is being interpreted.
And the study by Human Rights Watch finds that defendants who take their fate to a judge or jury face prison sentences on average 11 years longer than those who plead guilty.
December 4, 2013 The First Amendment loomed large at the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, as the justices considered a case testing the rights of protesters in public areas that are part of large military installations. But the justices seemed more comfortable focusing on property easement issues than big constitutional questions.
December 3, 2013 AM radio was what folks used to gather around to listen to soap operas, big bands and live drama. Later, it's where baby boomers heard the Beatles. Now, it's largely the province of news and talk — and often hard to hear because of interference. The FCC is proposing some changes it hopes will make the AM band relevant again.
December 3, 2013 The deadline to apply to legally grow and sell pot is coming up in Washington, but growers are finding there are pros and cons to going legit. Applicants must invest big money to qualify for a license, and it's unclear what the new system will mean for existing medical growers.
December 3, 2013 What rights do participants in an airline's frequent-flier plan have to their miles or points? That's the question before the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, when the justices examine whether, and under what circumstances, frequent fliers can sue in these disputes.
December 2, 2013 The decision, which reversed a ruling last April by a smaller panel of the court, rejected a TV station's argument invoking the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling of 2010.
December 2, 2013 A woman in Michigan says that a Catholic hospital failed to give her adequate health care when she came to the hospital after her water broke when she was 18 weeks pregnant. That has sparked a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union.
November 26, 2013 The judge said the fallen football great is not entitled to a new trial for his 2008 convictions for armed robbery and kidnapping. Simpson is serving a sentence of nine to 33 years in the crimes.
November 26, 2013 The sentencing of a Somali-American man convicted of trying to bomb a holiday tree-lighting ceremony in Portland, Ore., in 2010 is in limbo. The hold comes days after the Justice Department notified his lawyers that part of the case against him had been "derived from" secret NSA electronic surveillance.
November 26, 2013 Three years after the startling arrest of a 14-year-old for acting as a gang's assassin in Mexico, the boy, now 17, is reportedly heading to the United States, according to media and government reports. Edgar Jimenez, nicknamed El Ponchis — "The Cloak" — is a U.S. citizen who was born in San Diego.
November 26, 2013 President Obama's Affordable Care Act will be back before the Supreme Court this spring. This time, the issue is whether for-profit corporations citing religious objections may refuse to provide contraceptive services in health insurance plans offered to employees.