Law

Law
5:50 pm
Thu September 22, 2011

Court Declares Two Men Innocent

A panel of three judges has found two North Carolina men innocent of a murder to which they had once pleaded guilty.

The judges announced their decision Thursday in Asheville after nearly two weeks of testimony in the cases of Kenneth Kagonyera and Robert Wilcoxsin.

Both men had pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of Walter Bowman of Fairview at his home in 2000. They claimed they agreed to the pleas to avoid the possibility of getting the death penalty or spending life behind bars.

Law
10:00 am
Sun September 18, 2011

The State of Migrant Tobacco Workers

A new report released yesterday takes a close-up look at the state of workers in North Carolina’s tobacco fields.

The report – “A State of Fear – Human Rights Abuses in North Carolina’s Tobacco Industry” was produced by the Farm Labor Organizing Committee and Oxfam America.  It includes interviews with migrant farm workers, mostly undocumented and representatives of the tobacco industry.


Baldemar Velasquez is president of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee AFL-CIO. He says the only way to better the lives of the tobacco workers is for industry to step in.

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Law
8:35 am
Fri September 9, 2011

Anti-Abortion License Plates Draw Federal Suit

Anti-Abortion License Plate
Credit ncchoose-life.org

The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina is filing a federal lawsuit alleging the state's adoption of "Choose Life" license plates is unconstitutional on the grounds that a pro-choice alternative isn't offered. Katherine Lewis Parker is a Legal Director at the ACLU.

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Law
6:06 pm
Mon August 15, 2011

Lawsuits Focus on Biomass Facilities

An exemption for biomass facilities from carbon dioxide limits under the Clean Air Act is being challenged in court. The Environmental Protection Agency is exempting biomass facilities from the rules for the next three years because they're considered carbon-neutral or low-carbon emitters. Frank Rambo is the senior attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center working on that case.

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Law
4:20 am
Wed August 10, 2011

Legal Aid Closing Offices in Rural NC

Legal Aid NC
Credit legalaidnc.org

Legal Aid of North Carolina is closing three offices due to budget cuts totaling more than $2 million. Legal Aid serves poor people who can't afford legal help with issues like mortgage assistance and domestic violence. The non-profit is facing cuts from both the federal and state government. Legal Aid of North Carolina Executive Director George Hausen says they're closing the rural offices in Henderson, Boone, and Smithfield.

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Law
6:10 am
Thu August 4, 2011

State Highway Patrol Cracks Down On Texting

Law enforcement officials say their efforts to crack down on people who text on their cell phones while driving is resulting in some success. Jessica Jones reports.

A state law banning texting while driving went into effect about a year and a half ago. Since then, the State Highway Patrol has issued about 11 hundred tickets to people who've been texting on the road. Sergeant Jeff Gordon is a spokesman for the department. He says the patrol conducts periodic "Operation Distracted Driver" campaigns to crack down on the practice.

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Law
5:25 am
Mon August 1, 2011

Durham Police: Choose Your Ride

Credit Durham Police Department

The Durham Police have a new reminder for residents about the dangers of driving drunk. It looks like a police car in the front and a taxi cab in the back. The car tells drunk drivers they can choose their ride- either a taxi or a police car. Decals on the hood give information warning about the monetary cost of getting a DUI. Durham County Assistant Chief Lee Russ says the 'franken-car' will be parked outside of nightlife spots. He hopes that people will think twice before getting behind the wheel after drinking.

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Law
5:10 pm
Thu July 14, 2011

Evidence Presented to Potential Jurors in Nursing Home Killings Case

Defense attorneys have decided to present evidence during jury selection in the murder trial of Robert Stewart. He's accused of shooting and killing eight people two years ago at the Pinelake Health and Rehabilitation Center in Moore County. Stewart's attorneys say he was under the influence of alcohol and prescription drugs at the time and is not legally responsible for his actions. Defense lawyers are showing potential jurors graphic images of the shootings and Stewart admitted this week during jury selection he killed the victims.

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Law
4:25 am
Fri July 8, 2011

Homeland Security Investigates Wake County Jail

Federal investigators are looking into allegations of mistreatment at the Wake County jail. The North Carolina ACLU compiled 57 complaints in 2009 and 2010 from detainees accused of illegal immigration. Some say their rights to due process were violated. The ACLU claims that constitutes a violation of an immigration law called 287(g). It allows the federal government to enter into agreements with local law enforcement to carry out immigration functions. Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison:

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Law
3:20 am
Mon July 4, 2011

Major Crimes Down In Raleigh

Major crimes, like homicides and robberies, are way down in Raleigh. The number of homicides fell from 35 two years ago to 14 in 2010.

City officials are crediting efforts in “community policing” in 2009 for the decrease. It involves increased foot patrols, juvenile programs, and specially-trained officers.

Another part of the community policing strategy is to increase enforcement of lesser crimes, like prostitution and drug offenses, before they lead to major crimes. Prostitution arrests rose from 64 in 2008 to 239 last year.

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