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April 20th, 2010
07:49 PM ET

Michael Douglas: 'I love my son, but I'm not blind to his actions'

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Gabriel Falcon
AC360° Writer

In a personal handwritten plea, Michael Douglas asked a judge to show mercy on his son, Cameron Douglas.

“I love my son, but I’m not blind to his actions,” wrote the actor, “I do believe out of this adversity he will be a positive citizen.”

Cameron Douglas could have received a 10-year prison sentence for possessing and distributing methamphetamine and cocaine.

But today, Federal Circuit Court Judge Richard Berman sentenced him to five years behind bars. He will also get five additional years of parole.

Michael Douglas’ letter was released to the public by the court earlier today. Douglas' Letter to the Judge

For more crime coverage go to cnn.com/crime.

April 20th, 2010
04:06 PM ET

Addiction: Where to go for help

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AC360°

A judge sentenced actor Michael Douglas' son Cameron to five years in prison Tuesday for selling cocaine and methamphetamine.

Cameron Douglas, 31, was arrested July 2009 at the Manhattan Club in New York City and later pleaded guilty to drug charges.

Michael Douglas and his wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones, wrote letters to the judge urging him to consider the 31-year-old's "positive attributes" and citing the family's history of addiction.

This made us start thinking more about addiction and how family members can be affected.

Addiction happens when a person compulsively uses a substance or engages in a behavior despite negative and sometimes dangerous effects. Sometimes addiction comes with physical dependence, which means a person's body needs a substance to function. Psychological dependence and physical dependence don't always go hand in hand. Gambling is one example of a potential source of psychological dependence.

Learn more about addiction and resources for addicts here...

April 20th, 2010
10:10 AM ET
April 19th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

OKC Bombing 15 Years Later: What shall we do about us?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/18/t1.okc.building.jpg caption="The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, OK after the bomb explosion 15 years ago." width=300 height=169]

Benjamin Ola Akande
Dean, School of Business and Technology
Webster University

I recall my return visit to Oklahoma City about nine years ago. I was passing through on my way to Lawton, Oklahoma to visit Webster University’s graduate center there. The drive from the airport through downtown OKC brought back memories of my ten years living in the area as a student.

Then, I was eager and very impressionable. How I loved the city! The topography was wide open, the people so down to earth and so tolerant. This had to be the safest city in America, I remember telling myself. And I believed it.

As I approached the city on Interstate 40, I could feel those same old emotions rise within me. The spires of scores of churches climbed above the welter of new suburban development. I had not remembered so many churches, but the sight brought back to mind the way the people of Oklahoma City treated each other with respect and civility.

FULL POST

April 16th, 2010
04:50 PM ET

Video: Conversation with Dr. Jack Kevorkian

Editor's Note: Tonight, we report on what many refer to as physician-assisted suicide. It's legal in three states - Montana, Oregon and Washington. Two Connecticut doctors are in court to challenge the law that would have them prosecuted with second-degree manslaughter for prescribing lethal medication. Last week Anderson spoke to Dr. Jack Kevorkian who assisted terminally ill patients die. Watch their conversation here.

Anderson Cooper | BIO
AC360° Anchor

April 16th, 2010
04:35 PM ET

Physician-assisted suicide laws by state

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/15/intltaskforce.jpg caption="InternationalTaskForce.org's website detailing physician-assisted suicide laws by state." width=300 height=169]

International Task Force

To view the physician-assisted suicide laws by state go here.

Don't miss the second part of Anderson's conversation with Jack Kevorkian tonight. Kevorkian, also known as "Dr. Death," sits down with us for one of his first interviews since being released from prison nearly three years ago.

Kevorkian is profiled in a new HBO movie called "You Don't Know Jack," which premieres on April 24.

The film stars Al Pacino, who plays Kevorkian, the controversial physician who assisted terminally ill patients die. Kevorkian became a controversial figure in the debate surrounding physician-assisted suicide. In the clip above, he tells Anderson about the first time he helped a patient die.

Tonight, Anderson talks to the film's director, Oscar winning Barry Levinson, as well as and Susan Sarandon and John Goodman, who star in the film. AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

April 16th, 2010
03:16 PM ET

Is National Prayer unconstitutional?

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AC360°

A federal judge on Thursday struck down the federal statute that established the National Day of Prayer, ruling that it violates the constitutional ban on government-backed religion.

"[I]ts sole purpose is to encourage all citizens to engage in prayer, an inherently religious exercise that serves no secular function," a Wisconsin judge wrote in the ruling, referring to the 1952 law that created the National Day of Prayer.

"In this instance, the government has taken sides on a matter that must be left to individual conscience," wrote the judge, Barbara B. Crabb.

The injunction against the National Day of Prayer will not take effect until the defendants in the case, President Obama and White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, have exhausted their appeals, the decision said.

The Obama administration said in a Twitter message on Thursday that Obama intends to recognize this year's National Day of Prayer, which is May 6.

So what do you think? We want to hear from you. Can prayer be unconstitutional?

And don't miss Anderson's conversation on the subject with Christopher Hitchens and Tony Perkins tonight on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

April 15th, 2010
07:10 PM ET

Physician-Assisted Suicide Laws by State

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/15/intltaskforce.jpg caption="InternationalTaskForce.org's website detailing physician-assisted suicide laws by state." width=300 height=169]

InternationaltaskForce.org

To view the physician-assisted suicide laws by state click here.

April 15th, 2010
04:27 PM ET

Why more Americans pay no income tax

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/15/tax.filing.statue.jpg caption="Craig Baldwin holds a sign advertising a tax preparation office for people that still need help completing their taxes before the Internal Revenue Service deadline on April 14, 2010 in Miami, Florida." width=300 height=169]

Scott A. Hodge
Special to CNN

If "taxes are the price we pay for civilized society," to quote Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., then April 15 is the day that bill comes due for every working American.

But that is no longer the case for a growing class of Americans for whom the price of civilized society has been reduced to zero because the tax code's generous credits and deductions completely erase their income tax liability.

And for many of these nonpayers, civilized society actually pays them a hefty refund, which is not much different from a welfare check except that it's run through the tax code instead of through the Department of Health and Human Services.

Keep reading...

April 15th, 2010
03:57 PM ET

'You Don't Know Jack'

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AC360°

'You Don't Know Jack,' a film about Jack Kevorkian, premieres on HBO next week. In our Big Interview tonight, Anderson sits down with Kevorkian in one of his first interviews since his release from prison three years ago. Anderson will talk to him about the movie and about how he became known as "Dr. Death."

'You Don't Know Jack,' was directed by Oscar winner Barry Levinson, who will also talk to Anderson tonight. They will be joined by actors Susan Sarandon and John Goodman, who both star in the film.

Learn more about the film and watch the trailer here...

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