Law

Thomas Farr
Alex Brandon / AP

Updated 3:06 p.m., October 19, 2017

A Senate panel on Thursday narrowly backed the nomination of a North Carolina attorney to fill the nation's longest judicial vacancy over the objections of Democrats, black lawmakers and some civil rights groups.

FILE - This Thursday, May 12, 2016, file photo, shows signage outside a restroom at 21c Museum Hotel in Durham, N.C. North Carolina is in a legal battle over a state law that requires transgender people to use the public restroom matching the sex on their
Gerry Broome, File / AP

Updated 5:45 p.m., October 19, 2017

North Carolina's Republican leaders said Thursday that a federal court should reject a deal by the Democratic governor that would affirm the rights of transgender people to use restrooms corresponding to their gender identity.

Attorneys representing the family of Rueben Galindo say they’ll conduct their own investigation into his shooting. Police video released last week shows the 29-year old Hispanic man had his arms raised above his head as CMPD officers shot and killed him September 6.  The lawyers spoke to reporters before last night’s city council meeting. 

An image of former state senator Josh Stein
Courtesy of Josh Stein

North Carolina's Attorney General says he is expanding an investigation into the role drug manufacturers may have played in the rising opioid crisis.

NC Legislature
W Edward Callis III

With approval of new North Carolina legislative districts behind them, House Republicans returned Tuesday to Raleigh to advance their efforts to redraw election districts for trial court judges and local prosecutors.

a doctor
Hamza Butt / flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/VQGLoP

Three female doctors say they were paid less than male counterparts on account of their gender in a federal lawsuit filed against Carolinas HealthCare System.

DACA rally in downtown Durham
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

Updated at 5:50 p.m., September 7, 2017

Fifteen states and the District of Columbia sued Wednesday to block President Donald Trump's plan to end a program protecting young immigrants from deportation — an act Washington state's attorney general called "a dark time for our country."

DACA rally in downtown Durham
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

President Trump announced the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program yesterday.

Courtesy of Benjamin Rachlin

In 1987 Willie Grimes was wrongfully accused of raping a 69-year-old widow in Hickory, North Carolina. Despite little evidence against him, Grimes was convicted of the crime and sentenced to life plus nine years in prison.

Takao Bill Manbo / Courtesy of Eric Muller at Scapegoat Cities

Seventy-five years ago the U.S. government relocated more than 100,000 Japanese-Americans into internment camps following the attacks on Pearl Harbor. Parents were separated from their children, and many individuals were forced to give up their property.

photo of Wildin Acosta
Courtesy of the Acosta family

Editor's Note: Wildin Acosta's hearing has been rescheduled  for Oct. 3, 2017.

Wildin Acosta of Durham is scheduled to go before a judge in Charlotte's immigration court on Thursday. The Honduran-born asylum seeker spent more than six months in immigration detention last year before his deportation order was rescinded.

James Mitchell (left) and John Jessen
Trial Evidence / ACLU via AP

A settlement was reached last week in a lawsuit against two psychologists who were paid by the CIA to develop its post-9/11 interrogation program.

Julienne Alexander / Criminal

  


  

In the 19th century, the weak beer and cider that many Americans were drinking at every meal began to be replaced by distilled liquor: rums and whiskeys with a much higher alcohol content. This created a lot of problems, especially for women. Men began spending a lot of time and money in bars. Many weren't helping out at home, or even buying food. Women all over the country advocated for temperance, but the face of prohibition was a woman named Carrie Nation. Her story is the subject of this week's episode of the Criminal podcast.

(5/26/17) Johnny Beck Jr. during interview at Franklin Correctional Center in Bunn, N.C. Beck is one of 67 former teen offenders in N.C. serving life without parole, even after U.S. Supreme Court ordered states to reconsider juvenile prison sentencing.
Gerry Broome / AP Photo - 2017

 In 2012 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a mandatory life sentence without parole for juvenile offenders is unconstitutional. Last year, the court said the ruling also applies to more than 2,000 inmates who were convicted as teens and are serving life sentences across the country. 

An image of prison bars
Alex Van / Pixabay, Creative Commons

In the past five years, 51 inmates in county jails across the state have died after poor supervision from jailers, according to a report by The News & Observer. 

gavel
wp paarz / Flickr - Creative Commons -https://flic.kr/p/GDRLvC

In 2014, tens of thousands of families fled Central America to the U.S. in an attempt to escape gang violence. Since that period, asylum requests in the U.S. have increased, but asylum approvals are declining.

A drawing of Effigy Mounds.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

National Parks and Monuments are often considered wholesome environments: peaceful places that preserve nature and history. However, this week's Criminal podcast tells how the remains of 41 American Indians disappeared from the Effigy Mounds National Monument in Iowa.

UNC Board of Governor's Committee
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

In a committee meeting of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors Tuesday, members voted to approve a litigation ban on the UNC Center for Civil Rights

Woman's hand gesturing 'no'
Robert Couse-Baker / Flickr - Creative Commons

The 1979 North Carolina Supreme Court ruling in State v. Way declared that women cannot legally revoke consent during a sexual encounter. 

Julienne Alexander/Criminal

We don't often get to hear the police speak candidly, but this week's Criminal episode offers the personal perspective of former Dallas Police Chief David Brown. He was chief during the 2016 shooting of Dallas police officers days after protests of the police-involved shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.

Cover of 'Guantanamo Diary' by Mohamedou Ould Slahi
Little Brown-2015 / Little Brown-2015

Mohamedou Ould Slahi is an innocent man who spent 14 years detained and tortured in Guantanamo Bay.

Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood
Orange County Sheriff's Office

The Orange County Sheriff's Office wants information on residents with mental illnesses in the hopes of avoiding negative interactions with law enforcement. 

The office released forms that caregivers can fill out voluntarily. Deputies can access the information on a closed database if they encounter someone who they believe might have a mental illness or cognitive disability.

The sheriff's planning coordinator Merrily Cheek said it includes guidance that can de-escalate tense situations.

Chuck Liddy / Charlotte Observer

A five-part series in the Charlotte Observer reveals the corruption and abuse that remains disturbingly commonplace in North Carolina’s state prisons. Reporters Ames Alexander and Gavin Off spent two years reporting on officers who smuggled cell phones and drugs into prisons, assaulted prisoners and perhaps even colluded with inmates on a homicide. 

Image of young black kids in Chicago with a police officer.
Patricia Evans

In the mid ‘90s, writer Jamie Kalven became immersed in Stateway Gardens, an impoverished and embattled public housing community on the South Side of Chicago.

N.C. Supreme Court Building
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

The U.S. Supreme Court has told North Carolina's top court to reconsider a redistricting lawsuit filed by Democrats and allies after the nation's highest court struck down congressional districts as racial gerrymanders.

Amy Pittman visits the grave of her son, Christian, in Durham, N.C., on Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. Pittman was charged in 2014 with manslaughter after 9-year-old Christian was accidentally shot and killed by his older brother.
Gerry Broome / AP

Amy Pittman learned on her first day in jail to bottle up her grief. As soon as she arrived, guards took her shoelaces so she wouldn't try to hang herself. Cry too much or scream too loud and she feared they would come back to take everything she had left — her clothes, a sheet, a plastic spork.

The Supreme Court has struck down two congressional districts in North Carolina because race played too large a role in their creation.
Rose Trinh / Flickr, Creative Commons

Updated 4:31 p.m., May 22, 2017

The Supreme Court struck down two congressional districts in North Carolina Monday because race played too large a role in their creation.

Ted Richardson/Winston-Salem Journal

Darryl Hunt was exonerated in 2004 after serving almost 20 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. In the years that followed his release, Hunt became known as a champion for racial justice. His story was featured in the widely-viewed HBO documentary “The Trials of Darryl Hunt.”

Ben and Jerry's, Voter ID
Leoneda Inge

The Supreme Court will not review North Carolina’s invalidated Voter ID Law, leaving in place a ruling by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals that had struck down the law. A lower court ruled that some provisions in the law "target African Americans with almost surgical precision," and therefore unconstitutional.

Alabama's lethal injection chamber at Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Ala., is pictured in this Oct. 7, 2002 file photo.
Associated Press

North Carolina has not executed a condemned prisoner since Samuel Flippen was put to death by lethal injection more than 10 years ago. Still, 16 convicted murderers have been sent to death row since then.

Some 147 prisoners, three of them women, sit on North Carolina's death row, awaiting a fate that might never come. All but 46 were convicted before 2001.

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