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The Legal System Versus Cal Harris

The Legal System Versus Cal Harris

As citizens of the United States, we rely on the legal system to protect us from those who inflict harm. It’s this reliance that keeps us feeling safe, and puts us at ease when we walk outside. We never expect a murderer to live next door, or if we do, we believe the police will find out and put them behind bars. However, what happens when the legal system fails? When there is a lack of evidence against a suspected killer, even when the public has faith that that person is a murderer? The answer isn’t always easy to conclude, and in the legal system, faith is no substitute for hard facts.

Cal Harris had been spending his life with his wife and four children in Tioga County, Pennsylvania when tragedy struck. Having had a number of car dealerships in his possession, a net worth in the millions, and a well-provided family, Harris seemingly had a stable life. However, around the turn of the new millennium, there had been a split in Harris’s household, and he and his wife had been planning to divorce. Those close to the Harris family had reportedly said the split was proceeding without any qualms, and was set to end on Cal Harris’s terms. But on September 11, 2001, the unexpected happened. Harris’s soon to be ex-wife disappeared from the family home without a trace.

Though it was Harris who first reported her missing, detectives pinned him as the primary suspect. The detectives wanted to know, did Cal Harris murder his wife? An investigation led authorities to searching his home in Tioga County. News sources at the time indicated the detectives found small splatters of blood in Harris’s home. Despite their efforts, the investigators were never able to turn up Michele Harris’s body or a murder weapon. Nevertheless, the investigation continued, and in 2005 authorities placed Harris under arrest on the charge of second-degree murder in the disappearance of Michele Harris. The evidence which led to the conviction were the blood splatters, and one witness’s testimony that Harris had threatened his wife prior to her disappearance.

Two years after the murder charge, a judge and jury passed down a guilty verdict on Harris, and he went to jail. Harris maintained his innocence, and began fighting the charge against him. Because there was no hard evidence — no murder weapon, no body — Harris and his lawyers felt they still had an advantage of getting him off the hook.

photo of legal tools

Less than six months after his conviction, Harris went back to court. This time a new witness came forward and claimed he had saw Michele Harris carrying out a quarrel with an unknown man outside of the family’s home prior to her disappearance. The testimony swayed the judge, who overturned Harris’s conviction. However, during a trial two years later, a judge and jury again convicted Harris on the murder charge, and he went back to jail.

That conviction was again overturned when the lawyer’s representing Harris found one of the jurors had a bias against Harris. During his release, Harris hired a group of lawyers to hopefully track down his missing wife, or at least find out what had happened to her. That attempt, however, turned up nothing. It wasn’t until 2016 that a judge and jury at last acquitted Harris of the charge against him.

After 15 years, Harris was finally free from the legal system’s attempt to convict him of murder. To this day, people still ask what had happened to Michele Harris? She remains missing, with no trace of her whereabouts. There is a split amongst those who know about the case; some believe Cal Harris murdered his wife, and some believe there is not enough evidence to say whether or not he is guilty.

Companies and Cigarettes

Companies and Cigarettes

When Should a Company Be Allowed to Not Hire a Person Who Smokes Cigarettes?

There are two occasions that I think a company should be allowed to not hire a person who smokes cigarettes, and I think that that is when food and healthcare are involved.

I apologize if I offend anybody with what I am about to say. These are just my personal thoughts. You are more than welcome to disagree in the comment section below. That being said, I personally feel quite ill when I see someone taking a smoke break at a restaurant. I don’t like the smoke being anywhere near the restaurant. Furthermore, I start to get paranoid thinking about if they wash their hands or not. Granted, EVERYONE should wash their hands when they come back from a break.

I just think it about it extra hard when I see people smoking, because I don’t want their cigarette smoke anywhere near my food. I am weary about the smoke smell still being on the employee’s clothes. Cigarette smoke carries a very heavy, strong odor. I have no desire to have my food smell like smoke. I am pretty positive that I have seen multiple employees take their smoke breaks while they still have their aprons on. I find that to be rather disturbing, and I do not understand how it is allowed.

I am not saying that people who smoke cigarettes should not be allowed to work any time food is involved. I am just saying that I think that that is one of the times a company should be allowed to not hire someone for smoking cigarettes. Another time that I think a company should be allowed to not hire a person who smokes cigarettes, is when healthcare is involved. That is for obvious reasons.

For both of these situations, it is really up to the companies to have the proper protocols to handle their employees who smoke effectively. If they do that, then there should not be much of an issue with hiring them. What do you all think? Leave a comment down below!

A Legal Right to Work?

A Legal Right to Work?

As the uncertain future of automation looms over broad sectors of the American economy, people from all economic walks of life have been left pondering worrying questions. How will automation impact my industry? How will it change my day to day life? Will I lose my job to a robot? Above all else, one question remains pertinent; do Americans have a legal right to work?

Even the most ardent advocates of automation will concede that robots can’t truly replace everyone; there will always be a plethora of jobs capable of being done only by humans. Nonetheless, massive quantities of jobs in our economy, particularly in areas such as manufacturing, retail, and transportation, are vulnerable to automation. How, then, will the coming wave of robotic automation change our nation’s economic and legal landscapes?

Right-to-work laws already exist in many forms throughout the U.S., yet these laws focus primarily on unionization, rather than automation. No legislation nor precedent as of yet exist to determine whether an American has a right to a job over, say, a robot. Nor is any such thing realistically likely to come into effect.

Nonetheless, labor unions and independent workers alike will certainly take steps to insure their economic well-being against automation, particularly in the field of law.

Legal actors should prepare themselves for a future where they may be dragged into a civil or criminal case regarding automation. If a company automates a position, and the robot or programming later causes a severe error or crisis to unfold, how might a prosecutor go about trying their case?

Lawyers will most likely be largely unsuccessful should they try to argue that their client’s right to a job supersedes a company’s right to automate. Yet they may find themselves more successful bringing lawsuits against those same companies when an automated function of their business causes personal or economic injury to another. A shrewd legal actor may argue that tragedy could have been averted, should there have been a human overseeing a job.

These kinds of scenarios are not hypothetical; thousands of manufacturing, service, and transportation jobs are already undergoing massive change due to advances in automation and programming. Lawyers and legal actors may even find their own jobs jeopardized by the onslaught of technological advance; routine paperwork can be done effortlessly by computer programs in a fraction of the time it takes a human, and complicated text can be quickly analyzed and interpreted by machines.

As the tides of time turn forth greater and greater advances in robotics and programming, legal scholars will be forced to confront questions such as these. Wise judicial actors should get a head start on these issues today, rather than suffer them tomorrow.

How might automation impact your job? Do you think legal actors have reason to fear computers taking their jobs? Leave a comment down below!

Assisted Suicide: My Thoughts

Assisted Suicide: My Thoughts

This is a very touchy subject – at least for me. I remember reading a few Supreme Court cases about assisted suicide, and I always had mixed emotions about it. I read that six states now permit assisted suicide (there are certain criteria that must be met in order to do so). I was quite surprised. I will share what I think about this topic, although, I am basing my thoughts off of an emotional stance as opposed to a legal stance.

When thinking about this topic, I tried to picture someone that I love and care about deeply wanting to undergo an assisted suicide. If he or she were in that much physical pain that him or her felt the need to have a doctor end his or her life, would I want the law to deprive him of her of that? Is that my place?

I guess it is not. I do not know what that person is going through internally and emotionally. Aren’t we given a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? If we are given the right to life, are we not allowed to control that life? Are we not allowed to control whether we choose to suffer or not? I want to say yes. I want to say yes extremely bad. However, I do not.

It is not that I do not think that people have rights to their own lives. Of course, they do. I just do not think that they have a right to have a doctor kill them. In no way am I saying that they have a right to kill themselves or that they should. I am not saying that at all. To give the right for doctors to kill Americans is a scary thought to me. I think of where this could lead to. Limits are created for a reason. This limit needs to continue. I feel that this can open the door to a ton of accidental or unnecessary deaths, give a patient an option to automatically give up (even with restrictions included – but especially without), and give doctors power that I am not comfortable with them having.

What are your thoughts on assisted suicide? Leave a comment down below!

Birth Control Without Parental Consent: My Thoughts

Birth Control Without Parental Consent: My Thoughts

This topic is very hard for me to give one solid answer on. I do not have a child yet. Perhaps my thoughts will change when I have one. I seriously doubt it, but you never know. That being said, instead of me giving one single opinion on whether minors should be given parental control without parental consent, I will just provide some random thoughts that I have.

Considering the fact that birth control is a prescribed drug, I definitely think that parents should be notified whenever their child has been given birth control, regardless of whether consent is required. If I had a child, I would want to know what was going into his or her body, whether I had the legal right to approve of it or not. You never know how someone’s body is going to respond to a particular medication. I think that being aware of what my child is taking is important, despite my personal views.

As far as providing consent is concerned, I can see why some parents would want to have to give their consent, but I could see the dangers of a minor being forced to have parental consent. Like I said, I think that parents should be notified, but I don’t think that minors should be denied birth control just because their parents do not think that they should be on it. There are multiple reasons why a parent may not want their child to be on birth control, and a lot of those reasons are personal to the parent; not the child. If the reason does not have to do with the child’s body having a negative adverse reaction to birth control, I am not sure what other reason a parent could have other than a moral reason. I understand that their morality may be important to them – mine is important to me. However, that is not a rational reason to stop a minor from getting birth control.

I don’t care about the minors right to privacy. If a minor is being fed, clothed, and taken care of by his or her parents, I think that parents have every right to invade their privacy – especially if the parent has made it abundantly clear that he or she does not want their child being sexually active while in his or her home. That being said, if a minor does decide to become sexually active, I think that she or he should have the right to protect his or her self, with the parents being made aware of what is going on. What do you guys think? Any thoughts, opinions? Leave a comment down below and share!

Top 10 Tips to Succeed in Law School

Top 10 Tips to Succeed in Law School

Here is a brief post I wanted to share with you about the top 10 tips to succeed in Law School. If you are currently in law school, or still finishing up your undergrad, it is never too early to start thinking about the future. If you are set on becoming an attorney, here are some great tips to get you started!

  1. Prepare for class. Preparing for class is the best way to understand the material and get the most out of your classes. Complete all assigned reading before each class. You should also create a brief outline of your reading before each class. If you fall behind, it will be extremely difficult to catch up.
  2. Attend class. You need to attend class to fully digest and understand the material. Your professor may also test on topics that were only covered during class.
  3. Focus in class. There’s no point in going to class if you’re not going to pay attention. The professors also tend to randomly ask students questions, so there is a good chance that you will get caught if you’re not paying attention.
  4. Ask your professor questions. If you don’t understand something, simply ask your professor a question. If you’re brave enough, you can ask your professor during class. If you’re more shy or nervous, just ask after class. Law professors tend to stick around after class to answer questions.
  5. Outline your coursework. Create an outline of the material and add to it after each class. You can use your outline to help you study for final exams later.
  6. Buy a reputable study guide. There many study guide books available for purchase. Ask your professor for a recommendation.
  7. Join a study group. Studying in a group that meets regularly will help keep you on track. Talking about the coursework with other students will also help ensure that you don’t misunderstand the material.
  8. Study hard. Study harder than you’ve ever studied before for final exams. The exams will cover a lot of material to cover. Start early and leave yourself plenty of time.
  9. Take practice examinations. One of the best ways to study is to take practice exams. Many professors will give you copies of their old practice exams if you ask. Your law school’s library may also have old practice exams on file.
  10. Minimize distractions around finals. Finally, minimize any distractions while studying for your final exams. You need to focus on the material if you want to succeed. Talk to your friends and family and ask for their understanding.

Pretty simple, right? Becoming a lawyer is not easy, but if you focus on the process and stay involved, it won’t be too difficult at all! If you have any more tips you would like to share, let me know.