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Montana Supreme Court overturns teacher's one-month rape sentence
April 30th, 2014
02:07 PM ET

Montana Supreme Court overturns teacher's one-month rape sentence

Update: A teacher who was originally sentenced to 31 days for raping a student has been resentenced to nearly 10 years in prison, prosecutor says.

(CNN) - A Montana Supreme Court judge says a former Montana high school teacher should have served more than the 30-days he spent in prison for raping a 14-year-old student.

The judge has ordered a re-sentencing for Stacey Dean Rambold who has been free on probation since serving the 30 days last year.

A judge had previously handed down a 15-year sentence in 2008, in which Rambold would only serve a month in jail and more than 14 years on probation.

The student attended the high school where Rambold taught, and committed suicide before the case went to trial.

Montana rapist free after 1-month in jail

As reported by Erin Burnett OutFront:

The district judge suspended almost his entire sentence because he claimed the 14-year-old girl was "as much in control of the situation" as he was. He added the girl was "older than her chronological age."

Rambold pleaded guilty to raping his student, Cherice Moralez.

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Filed under: Crime • Justice • Montana teen rape case • News
January 30th, 2014
09:53 PM ET

Glenn Close on family's struggle with mental disorders: We had no vocabulary for mental illness

"I think our family is like a lot of families. We had no vocabulary for mental illness," Glenn Close says.

Joined by her younger sister, Jessie Close, the six-time Oscar-nominated actress spoke to CNN's Erin Burnett about her family's struggle with mental illness.

Close recalls, "Jessie would do things when she was little that would have been red flags if we had been more knowledgeable."

One of the red flags includes her sister rubbing her fingers together until they would begin to bleed.

Close expresses regret that her family didn't question her sister's behavior.

"We just thought she was wild and irresponsible," Close says. "So when she was finally diagnosed, which was not until she was 50, she had lived a life, which she needn't had lived."

Jessie was diagnosed with bipolar 1 disorder, also known as manic-depressive disorder. According to WebMD, a person affected by the disorder will experience a manic episode, a period of abnormally elevated mood, accompanied by abnormal behavior.

Jessie shared with Burnett how she felt when she found out about the diagnosis.

"When I was finally diagnosed, I went through a long period of grief, because I had so many instances where I was manic and not in my right mind," she says. "It's a difficult thing to look back on a life when you're already 50 years old."

Close is one of the biggest advocates for changing the stigma around mental illness. She started the non-profit, Bring Change 2 Mind, with a mission to raise awareness about the misconceptions associated with mental disorders.

"Four of five of us are touched in some way by mental illness," Close says.

In December, Close was in Washington to work with a bipartisan group on the Excellence in Mental Health Act. She tells Burnett the law will get government funding for behavioral and mental health organizations that are already working on the ground in communities.

"Mental health has always been the least funded of all the departments in our government," Close says. "There's been such a cutback on funds for organizations like that - we are suffering from it."

In a public service announcement, Close stands by Jessie's son Calen (he suffers from schizophrenia), and urges people to start talking about mental illness as a way to end the stigma.

"I think we're probably tighter because we've been through a war, a war on mental illness," Jessie says.

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Filed under: "Kids in Crisis: Fragile Minds" • Mental Health • News
January 20th, 2014
04:00 PM ET

Don Lemon on 'Thug Cycle': "I’m a truth-teller, not a race-protector"

A video of an African-American toddler unleashing a barrage of profanity has gone viral in recent days after a Omaha, Nebraska police union posted it on their website . Their reasoning? The union claims it is an example of a continuing trend, which they call 'the thug cycle.'

An outcry ensued from the public, accusing the police union of being racist and perpetuating stereotypes of black men as criminals.

The face of the minor was not blurred and was originally posted on Facebook by a relative who found the child's profanity humorous.

We caught up with CNN's Don Lemon, who was OutFront on the 'thug cycle' story, and sparked a discussion about the word 'thug.'

OUTFRONT: Why was the story of Omaha 'Thug Cycle' video important to you?

LEMON: The story was important to me obviously because it’s so outrageous. That could have been me or my two great-nephews. One is just out of diapers. The other is a new born. I couldn’t imagine anyone ever treating them like that. I don’t know what I’d do to someone if they even tried. And they’re not even my children. Every child should have advocates. And the only way I know to advocate for that child and others like him is through my work. And that means doing the story and shining a light on it.

FULL POST

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Filed under: 'Thug cycle' video • News
December 20th, 2013
02:10 PM ET

Were Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson's comments about blacks ignored?

"The comment about African-Americans got far less attention than the comment about gay people," CNN's Don Lemon said Thursday on Erin Burnett OutFront.

'Duck Dynasty' star Phil Robertson's remarks about gays and African Americans in GQ magazine caused a firestorm of controversy.

Robertson, 67, was suspended by the A&E network after the publication of comments in the magazine. Citing the Bible, the outspoken Christian called homosexuality sinful and compared it to bestiality and drunkenness.

Does Phil Robertson get the Bible wrong?

While all the attention was on Robertson's anti-gay remarks, the suspended star also made comments about African Americans and the Jim Crow south.

Robertson claimed that he never saw any “mistreatment of any black person” while growing up in Louisiana prior to the civil rights movement.

"Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy?” he said. “They were godly, they were happy, no one was singing the blues," Robertson told GQ.

'Duck Dynasty' family stands by suspended patriarch

"His comments about African Americans are even more far field than his comments about gay people," Lemon said.

Why did Robertson's anti-gay remarks get more attention than his comments about black people?

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Filed under: Duck Dynasty • News
December 17th, 2013
11:46 PM ET

NSA plaintiff Larry Klayman gets confrontational on CNN: You're an ultra-leftist

"I've watched you for many years, you're an ultra-leftist," Conservative legal activist Larry Klayman said to CNN's Don Lemon Tuesday night on Erin Burnett OutFront.

Klayman came as a guest to discuss his victory, when a federal judge ruled that the National Security Agency's domestic phone surveillance program was likely unconstitutional.

Judge: NSA phone data-mining unconstitutional

The interview started with Klayman slamming Lemon and CNN's Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

"The NSA has data on all of us, meta-data, which deals with our personal lives - clearly a violation of the four amendment." Klayman added, "But rather than talking about that you got to try to take out somebody who challenged President Obama."

Klayman's interview was preceded by a piece on the tea party activist's history of litigating cases against the United States government.

National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden is offering to help Brazil investigate United States surveillance of Brazilian citizens.

"The idea that Larry Klayman is the representative -  is simply outrageous, because he's a professional litigant and lunatic," Toobin said.

Toobin argued that the important issues of the NSA phone surveillance case shouldn't be represented by 'Klayman's tin foil hat paranoia about the NSA being after him.'

The conversation continued to be confrontational - leading to Lemon calling for Klayman to removed from the discussion.

Watch the video clip in this post to discover how the interview ended.

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Filed under: News • NSA • NSA Leaker Edward Snowden • Politics
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