Law

The State of Things
12:05 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Unrest In Ferguson Revives Issues Of Race In Justice System

Protesters in Ferguson during demonstrations in August
Credit peoplesworld / Flickr Creative Commons

A grand jury in St. Louis has decided not to indict Darren Wilson, the white Ferguson police officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown, an unarmed black man.

In Ferguson, the decision sparked outrage, with several instances of arson and looting overnight. Police have arrested at least 61 people.

In other parts of the country, the decision was met with mixed response and reflection about how race plays into the criminal justice system.

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The State of Things
12:04 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Is Solitary Confinement Torture? New Report From UNC School Of Law

Credit https://www.flickr.com/photos/30928442@N08

Long-term solitary confinement is a cruel, inhumane and degrading form of punishment, according to a new report from The University of North Carolina School of Law.

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Law
3:16 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

A Look Inside The North Carolina State Crime Lab

Tonya Rush is an analyst at the State Crime Lab. The NC General Assembly recently added funding for 30 more analysts to help with the backlog.
Eric Mennel WUNC

We've been looking at the problems in the State Crime Lab this week, particularly the backlog in evidence testing. A group of judges, lawyers, and scientists came together in recent months to suggest solutions for clearing up the backlog, but inside the lab, some efforts are already under way.

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Law
3:30 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Two Surprising Solutions For The Backlog At The NC State Crime Lab

One of the refrigerators at the NC State Crime Lab
Credit Eric Mennel

Like many crime labs across the country, the North Carolina State Crime Lab in Raleigh has a serious backlog. One reason is finding and paying qualified staff. But a new report issued by researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Government shows a second, more complex problem.

The report goes into detail about the effect a 2009 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Melendez-Diaz, had on the way forensic evidence gets admitted at criminal trials.

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The State of Things
12:21 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Questions Around The Death Of A North Carolina Prisoner

Alexander Correctional Institution in Taylorsville, NC.

    

On March 12, 2014, Michael Anthony Kerr, an inmate at the Alexander Correctional Institution, died from dehydration en route to a hospital in Raleigh.

The treatment of Mr. Kerr in days leading up to his death have led to many questions as well as investigations by the US Attorney’s Office and the State Bureau of Investigation.

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The State of Things
12:06 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

NC Justice Department Investigates Problems At Asheville PD

Credit Osajus / Flickr Creative Commons

  

The state Justice Department is looking into allegations of administrative failure at the Asheville Police Department.

One lieutenant says he faced retaliation for raising concerns about outdated equipment and a short staff of patrol officers. Another says Police Chief William Anderson asked him to lie during an SBI investigation of the chief’s son.

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The State of Things
12:12 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Theologian's Change Of Heart On Same Sex Marriage

Book by Mark Achteimeier. WJK Press/2014
Credit WJK Press

  

Theologian and pastor Mark Achtemeier led the movement to prohibit gays and lesbians from becoming ordained in the Presbyterian church in the 1990s. His opposition to homosexuality was firmly rooted in his Christian faith and his interpretation of Biblical teachings. He succeeded and the Church banned the gay ordination in 1997. Just a few years later, he developed a friendship with a gay man in a committed relationship and Achtemeier began to question his beliefs. After reexamining the scriptures, he concluded there is a Biblical basis for supporting same sex couples. Now he leads the movement for inclusion in the Presbyterian Church.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Mark Achtemeier, theologian, pastor and author of The Bible’s Yes to Same-Sex Marriage (WJK Press/2014).

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Law
1:39 am
Wed November 5, 2014

New Right: Judge Or Jury

Credit Flickr.com

State voters passed a constitutional amendment that would give people accused of a felony a choice to have a judge hear their trial rather than a jury of their peers. The amendment was approved with about 54% of the vote. 

Up until last night's vote, North Carolina stood alone in refusing to allow that choice.  The option will only be available to persons not facing the death penalty. 

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The State of Things
1:02 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

NC Attorneys Help Immigrant Detainees

Child with flag
Credit jvoves on Flickr

More than 400 women and children from Central America are currently being held at a temporary detention center in southeast New Mexico. Most fled to the United States to escape violence in their home countries. They are seeking asylum in the United States but face many legal and personal challenges. A group of attorneys from North Carolina traveled to the remote town of Artesia, New Mexico to represent the detainees. Host Frank Stasio talks with two of the attorneys, Evelyn Smallwood and Natalie Teague, about their experiences.

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Law
2:48 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

North Carolina Podcast Poised To Hit National Stage

Criminal's episode art is by Julienne Alexander
Credit Julienne Alexander

Criminal is a new podcast that's gaining some buzz. In August, the Huffington Post called it the Best New Radio Show In America. A couple of months later, it was included in Buzzfeed's list of "12 Podcasts That Will Make You A Better Human."

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