Law

Crime
4:10 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Changes At Duke Energy Substations Crack Down On Copper Thieves

Duke Energy Progress is installing security measures to cut down on copper theft at its substations.
Credit Laura Candler

Duke Energy Progress has completed upgrades to substations in Durham and Greensboro designed to cut down on copper thefts. 

The company has changed the wire it uses, added security cameras and installed more lighting to keep thieves away.  Authorities have reported frequent copper thefts from the Parkwood Tie Station in Durham and the Main Substation in Greensboro.  The metal goes for nearly $3.00 a pound in resale.

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Law
9:53 pm
Sun May 12, 2013

Eight Inmates File Lawsuit Over Alleged Abuse At Central Prison

Central Prison in Raleigh
Credit Dept. of Public Safety

Advocates have filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of some state prison inmates. The eight inmates at Central Prison in Raleigh wrote letters to attorneys with the state's Prisoner Legal Services agency saying officers beat them while they were restrained.  

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Law
5:11 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Mothers Rally To Fight Gun Violence

Credit Megathon Charlie via Flickr, Creative Commons

Mothers across North Carolina are marching and speaking out at events tomorrow to raise awareness of how gun violence affects families. Joslyn Simms, who lost her son Rayburn to gun violence eight years ago this month, will be speaking at tomorrow's rally in Durham.

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The State of Things
11:12 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Exonerees Share Stories Of Wrongful Conviction At Innocence Network Conference

Vanessa Potkin, senior staff attorney with the Innocence Project, helped to exonerate Bennie Starks earlier this year.
Sameer Abdel-Khalek

Frank Stasio talks with Keith Findley, president of the Innocence Network; Vanessa Potkin, Innocence Project senior staff attorney; and exonerees Bennie Starks and Audrey Edmunds.

Across the country, 306 wrongfully convicted inmates have been exonerated because of DNA evidence. The number of people exonerated through other means is hard to calculate, since not all states keep records of exonerees.  It might be close to 1,000. But that could be a gross undercount. Over 100 exonerees and many others gathered in Charlotte this past weekend for the 2013 Innocence Network Conference.  There, The State of Things host Frank Stasio sat down with two exonerees and two legal professionals to learn more about their stories.

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The State of Things
9:57 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Former Prosecutor Remembers His Role In Bringing Down Manuel Noriega

`Sea of Greed` is a book by Judge Douglas McCullough reflects back on the Manuel Noriega arrests.
Credit amazon.com

Judge Douglas McCullough talks about his career and his book, 'Sea of Greed'

  Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega was a infamous figure on the international stage during the 1980s. Before he became a caricature of the "crazy" dictator, he was on the payroll of the CIA and helped the United States gain information on Cuba.

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The State of Things
12:07 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

50th Anniversary Of The North Carolina Speaker Ban

UNC Student Body President Paul Dickson introduces speaker Frank Wilkinson at the McCorkle Place wall
Credit Jock Lauterer, unc.edu

The North Carolina Speaker Ban

Free speech is considered a hallmark of universities across the nation, but in the 1960s, that wasn't always true. At least not for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 1963, the North Carolina legislature passed a speaker ban, prohibiting communists from speaking on campus.

Students on campus bristled at the notion that they could not listen to anybody they chose.

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Law
6:00 am
Wed April 10, 2013

State Attorney General Disturbed By Increasing Domestic Violence Deaths

N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper
Credit N.C. Democratic Party

State Attorney General Roy Cooper says he's concerned about an increase in domestic violence deaths in North Carolina last year. 

State law requires police agencies to report domestic violence deaths to the SBI.  Cooper says the 122 deaths last year are 16 more than in 2011.  He called the increase "disturbing" and urged the state to do more to stop these crimes before they happen. Wake County had the highest number of domestic violence deaths at 11, followed by Mecklenburg and Guilford counties with eight and six respectively. 

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The State of Things
11:36 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Sledge Awaits Justice From Behind Bars

News & Observer reporter Mandy Locke discusses the wrongful conviction case of Joseph Sledge

In 1976, Joseph Sledge was accused of murdering a mother and daughter in Bladen County, NC. Because of the many limits of scientific evidence at the time, hairs found at the scene of the crime were identified as "Negroid." And because Joseph Sledge was a Black man, the hairs were linked to him. Over 34 years later, the use of DNA testing has been used to prove that those hairs were not Sledges'. 

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Law
7:49 am
Tue April 2, 2013

North Carolina Steps Up Crackdown On Internet Sweepstakes Parlors

Credit Pete Labrozzi via Flickr, Creative Commons

Police and prosecutors are working to enforce a state Supreme Court ruling that outlaws web-based sweepstakes games.    The justices' ruling last December upheld a law passed two years earlier by the General Assembly.  Since then, sheriff's departments have had the backing of prosecutors and Attorney General Roy Cooper in conducting stings to shut down the industry.

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Law
6:41 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Eugenics Compensation Part Of Gov. McCrory's Budget Proposal

Credit NC Dept. of Administration

Victims of North Carolina's discontinued eugenics program could get the compensation they've sought if Gov. Pat McCrory's budget proposal is accepted.  He's allocated $10 million in his spending plan to compensate past victims of forced sterilization.  The program ran from 1929 to 1974.  State researchers said during hearings in 2011 that there could be anywhere from 1,500 to 2,000 victims still alive. 

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