Is It A Crime?

Four compelling stories. Four difficult questions.

Four compelling stories. Four difficult questions. No easy answers. What would YOU do? 48 Hours airs the stories of people faced with complexing and intriguing issues. But we want you to do more than just watch. We want you to weigh in and tell us what you think. On Friday, February 22, you'll have the chance to vote. Watch the broadcast, and then go online and be heard. We'll have YOUR results at the end of the broadcast.

Recipe For Trouble? Debbie Jeffries tried everything to help her son eight-year-old son Jeff, who was diagnosed with personality disorder. She gave him almost every prescription anti-psychotic drug on the market. Nothing worked, and she was going to have to give him up to the care of the state: Jeff was a threat to her and anyone around. Then a doctor recommended giving him medical marijuana, in a brownie. In California, medical marijuana is legal, so she tried it. It worked: Jeff became happy and well-behaved. But authorities found out, and she was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Debbie says that without marijuana, her son is uncontrollable and she won't be able to keep him. What will the judge decide to do?

Who Decides? When Michael Ryan was born 15 weeks premature and possibly suffering multiple birth defects, his parents, Dr. Greg and Traci Messenger, asked doctors not to use extraordinary efforts to save him. But the hospital put the child on life support, later arguing the boy had a good chance to survive and live a normal life. Dr. Messenger and his wife felt differently: they removed their child from the respirator and Michael Ryan died in his parent’s arms. Dr. Messenger was charged with manslaughter. Will he be convicted? Is what he did wrong, or was the hospital wrong for not following the parents’ wishes?

Not With My Daughter: 13-year-old daughter Eden Palmer sometimes slept over at the home of a family friend, Scott Palmer. Eden told her mother, Lori Palmer, that during the sleepovers, Scott sometimes climbed into bed with her. Lori notified police and then took action. She forced Scott to a wooded area and made him confess. He was arrested, but so was Lori, charged with felony kidnapping. Who should go to jail? The molester, or the mother who took matters into her own hands?

Zero Tolerance: High school senior Jenna Stricoff was an honors student. Her father was diagnosed with lung cancer. His dream was to see his daughter graduate. Determined to make that a reality, Jenna accelerated her course load so she would graduate early. But one morning, she drank vodka with friends and went to school under the influence. She was caught, and under the school’s “zero tolerance” policy, she must serve a mandatory one-year suspension. But if Jenna is out a year, her father won’t live to see her graduate. So what does the school do?



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  • David Kohn

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