Law

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.

GERRY BROOME / ASSOCIATED PRESS

A rush to execute death row inmates in Arkansas led to national concern about the use of the death penalty. In North Carolina, juries continue to send people to death row. They sentenced 16 people to death in the last ten years. But in that time there has not been a single execution. Some are questioning why the country has the death penalty if it is not being used. Others advocate for abolishing it altogether. They say it does not deliver the justice it intended, costs too much, is not administered fairly, and could amount to cruel and unusual punishment.

Picture of gavel
Flickr.com

Lawmakers recently passed a bill reducing the size of the North Carolina Court of Appeals. Republicans said the court's caseload is down, but Democrats complained the only motivation was to prevent Governor Cooper from making appointments.

So who’s right?

Photo: Mark Martin
Courtesy of Mark Martin

The chief justice of North Carolina's top court threw his support behind legislation to raise the age of juvenile offenders.

North Carolina is now the only state to automatically try 16- and 17-year-olds as adults in criminal court. But Supreme Court Justice Mark Martin says it's time for that to change.

"Our own Department of Public Safety conducted surveys on this issue which reflected that over 90 percent of parents already thought that 18 was the age for adult jurisdiction," Martin said.

During a press conference to rally support for the bill, Martin highlighted that North Carolina is the only state that has not upped the age limit to try defendants as adults. He said that teenage mistakes can follow North Carolinians into their adulthood as they seek employment. In other states, an error in judgment made by a 17-year-old would have a smaller impact on his ability to find employment later in life.

Image of Ken Rudin, the Political Junkie
kenrudinpolitics.com

 Relations between the U.S. and Russia are tense this week as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visits Moscow on a diplomatic trip. Tillerson urged Russian officials, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, to pull their support from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. These talks come a week after the U.S. launched a missile strike against Syria. Meanwhile, Neil Gorsuch was sworn in as a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Jordan Green / Triad City Beat

UPDATE: According to reports from News & Record reporter Danielle Battaglia, a superior court judge has ordered the release of the police body camera footage of Jose Charles to the Greensboro City Council for viewing in a closed session.

Another violent arrest by police in Greensboro is testing North Carolina's 2016 law on the release of police body camera footage. The mother of fifteen-year-old Jose Charles says police choked her son without provocation at a Fourth of July party, and she wants the public to see the police tape of the incident. Police charged Jose Charles with attacking an officer, among other crimes. 

Luis Padilla poses for a picture with his daughter, Isabella near their home in New York. Padilla was arrested at 16 and sent to Rikers Island. New York and North Carolina are the only two states to prosecute all 16 and 17 year olds as adults.
Seth Wenig / Associated Press

Second of two stories. Click here for the first.

North Carolina is one of just two states that automatically charges 16- and 17-year-olds as adults in the criminal justice system. But in several counties, the court system is working with local law enforcement to give would-be young offenders a second chance.

A bill to raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction from 16 to 18 has support in the state house.
Associated Press

First of two stories. Click here for the second.

When you turn 16 in North Carolina, you still can't vote, or drive on your own at night. You can't buy cigarettes or alcohol, or get a tattoo. But you can be charged, tried and convicted as an adult in the criminal justice system.

Durham County Detention Facility
Ildar Sagdejev (Specious) / Wikimedia

Local activists are raising concerns about Durham County Sheriff’s Office plans to implement video visitation at the jail.

a young man holding a pride flag
Emma / Flickr, Creative Commons

LGBTQ people face a high risk of physical and sexual violence and harassment, according to Triangle-based nonprofit research institute RTI International.

Image of bathroom sign
The LEAF Project / Flickr Creative Commons

The North Carolina plaintiffs fighting House Bill 2 in federal court face more legal uncertainty after Monday's U.S. Supreme Court decision.

Captain Raheem Aleem has been appointed Hispanic community liaison at the Durham County Sheriff's Office.
Courtesy of Durham County Sheriff's Office

The Durham County Sheriff's Office has announced the appointment of a new Hispanic community liaison.

An image of Principal Chief Patrick Lambert
Holly Kays / Smoky Mountain News

Earlier this month, the Tribal Council of the Eastern Band of Cherokee voted 9-3 to begin the impeachment process for Principal Chief Patrick Lambert. The vote exposes divisions rippling through the tribe’s governing body.

In January, the tribe’s Office of Internal Audit completed an investigation into contracts and human resources proceedings within Lambert’s administration. Members of the Tribal Council who voted for impeachment have used the results of the investigation as support for impeachment.

An image of Abdullah Khadra and his family
Abdullah Khadra

Abdullah Khadra and his family are originally from Syria and currently live in Raleigh on religious worker visas. Last fall, Khadra and his family traveled to Lebanon for a family emergency. But while they were there, the visa expired for Khadra’s three-year old daughter Muna.

Now, Khadra and his wife are struggling to get their daughter on a plane back to the U.S. and they are having difficulty because of President Trump’s executive order.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Khadra about his family’s struggle to bring their daughter back to North Carolina.

Anb image of protestors at Columbia University
Frank Franklin II / AP Photo

President Trump’s travel ban on immigrants and refugees from seven countries last week left thousands of international students on college campuses feeling uncertain about their futures. Officials at universities in North Carolina continue to reassure international students of their security, but the ban’s effect remains uncertain.

More than 17,000 students currently enrolled in the U.S. are from the countries included in the travel ban, and many university officials worry that the new immigration policy will harm recruitment of international students in the future.

Yazmin Garcia Rico

During his campaign, Donald Trump said he would eliminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The program, also known as DACA, was put in place in 2012 by the Obama administration. It allows young adults who came to the United States without documentation as children to receive a two-year renewable protection from deportation, a work permit, and a Social Security number.
 

Sign at the U.S. Border
Makaristos via Creative Commons

President Donald Trump signed an executive order ordering a wall along the 2,000 mile Mexican border.

He claims Mexico will pay for it, but Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto says otherwise. He canceled his trip to the U.S. where he was scheduled to meet with President Trump.

Host Frank Stasio talks with KJZZ Mexico City senior field correspondent Jorge Valencia about the latest.

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