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Date Rape Punishment

Date rape is rape. It doesn't matter if you know the victim, whether you took them out on a date, whether they drank during the date, or whether they led you on during the date. Non-consensual sex is rape, no matter what preceded it. And those convicted of date rape face the same penalties as those convicted of raping strangers.

But a prior relationship between the accuser and alleged perpetrator could complicate the determination of guilt. Here are the possible penalties for rape and how the issue of consent arises in cases of date rape.

Last year, Tennessee became the first state to explicitly criminalize drug use during a pregnancy. Since then, around 100 women in the state have been prosecuted under the new law, though most receive drug treatment rather than prison time.

While Tennessee's criminal statute may be unique, many states punish expecting mothers who do drugs while pregnant; and the penalties range from criminal conviction, to psychiatric commitment.

It's the largest one-time release of federal prisoners in history. In one weekend from October 30th to November 2nd, the Department of Justice will provide early release to about 6,000 prison inmates.

So who are these inmates, and why are they being released early?

Juvenile Killer: Is 11 Too Young for First Degree Murder?

McKayla Dwyer, 8, had a puppy. Her neighbor, 11, wanted to see it. Dwyer said no and the boy shot her with his father's shotgun from inside his home. He is now charged with first degree murder.

This incident happened on Saturday night in White Penn, Tennessee, according to the Associated Press. The boy's name is not being released because he is a juvenile. After his first hearing yesterday, Ed Miller, the 4th Judicial District Public Defender said the court has ordered the boy to remain detained. He is scheduled for a hearing on October 18, but the PD expects delays.

Should I Tell My Lawyer I'm Guilty?

You should tell your lawyer your story. Criminal defense lawyers defend both the guilty and the innocent. Your lawyer's job is to resolve the charges against you, not to judge you morally.

If truth was obvious, we would't have such an elaborate process to uncover it. But we do have discovery, investigations, trials, and appeals. Why? Because things are not always what they seem.

Heroin overdoses nationwide have been skyrocketing, and police forces have been responding with enhanced penalties for dealers. In some cases, prosecutors are even charging dealers with murder if one of their customers ODs.

It's a relatively new phenomenon, and seemingly at odds with the softening stance in the War on Drugs.

A 17-year-old high school student has been sentenced to 11 years in federal prison for using social media accounts to assist supporters of the Islamic State. U.S. officials have declared the militant group, also referred to as ISIL or ISIS, a terrorist organization.

Ali Shukri Amin admitted to using his Twitter account to provide advice on how to travel to Syria to join ISIL and how to use Bitcoin to funnel money to the group.

Aurora, Colorado shooter James Holmes was recently sentenced to over 3,000 years in prison on top of 12 life terms. That could sound lenient (he did avoid the death penalty) or needlessly excessive (he'll never serve that many years). But his is only the fourth-longest prison sentence in United States history.

Who's gotten a longer prison sentence? Here are the top five:

Potential uses for risk assessment tools can sound like something out of Tom Cruise's "Minority Report": the tools can potentially punish people based on crimes they may commit in the future. But using risk assessments to aid in sentencing isn't quite as extreme as arresting people based on the predictions of three psychic children.

So how do risk assessments work, and how are they used in criminal sentencing?

Hate crimes gained national attention following the church shootings by Dylan Roof, which left nine people killed in a Charleston, South Carolina. From statements he made, we know that the attack was racially motivated.

In most states, Roof would be charged with a hate crime. However, South Carolina is one of the few states to not have a hate crime law. The Department of Justice is investigating the shooting as a hate crime, but has not announced yet whether or not they'll charge Roof with a hate crime under federal law.

When criminals such as Roof are charged with hate crimes, what penalties could they face?