The independence of the judiciary is a central principle of a democracy. Judicial independence permits judges to make rulings based on legal principles instead of politics or public opinion.
Judges take an oath of office to follow and apply the law faithfully. In certain cases, judges find themselves in a dilemma–that of faithfully applying a law that conflicts with the judge’s own beliefs, principles, or sense of justice.
What is a guardian ad litem? Guardian ad litem is a Latin term meaning “guardian at law.” A guardian ad litem is a person appointed by the court to speak on behalf of a child and to protect the rights of the child during court proceedings.
The doctrine of stare decisis (which means “stand by what has been decided”) is the legal principle underlying judicial precedent. When a court lays down a principle of law as applying to a particular set of facts, the court will apply that principle to all future cases where the facts are substantially similar.
Following incarceration, most convicted sex offenders are released to community supervision. Many states have enacted laws authorizing the maintenance of a central registry of sex offenders. Convicted sex offenders are required by law to register their residence in those states, and most states maintain a database of the registrations.