Law

Law
5:57 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Will Voting Law Changes Cause Confusion?

Credit Leoneda Inge

A  federal appeals Court in Charlotte heard arguments Thursday on whether or not changes to North Carolina's voting law can go into effect before the November election. The changes were passed by the Republican-led General Assembly last year. Critics argue the laws restrict access to voting, particularly among minority groups.

The North Carolina NAACP has argued the changes are a violation of the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause, and of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

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Law
1:27 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Hundreds Of Child Immigrants Await Their Fates In N.C.

Undocumented child immigrants are being placed with friends and family members as they await immigration court proceedings.
Credit Flickr.com

Tens of thousands of unaccompanied child immigrants have turned themselves in at the U.S. Border this year.

Once they’ve been arrested, the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement looks for places to put these kids until their day in immigration court.

The O.R.R. reports 1,648 children were placed in North Carolina between January and August.

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Law
6:55 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Youth Radio: Durham Area Youth Trying 'Deferred Action' Immigration Policy

Lili Morales was a teen reporter at WUNC during the summer of 2014.

Lili Morales is a senior at Northern High School in Durham, N.C. As a part of WUNC's Youth Radio Project, she reports on the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy.  Young people who entered the country illegally with their parents are eligible for the program if they are in school -- but they have to renew every two years.  It's a stressful process for some.

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The State of Things
12:14 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

The Races For NC’s Highest Court

The Supreme Court elections are coming and things are getting interesting.
Credit flickr.com/photos/leviphotos

  

The North Carolina Supreme Court is supposed to be above hyper-partisan politics, but what happens when groups from outside the state become the biggest donors? 

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Law
8:49 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Can Vehicle Search Consent Forms Diminish Racial Bias? Ask Fayetteville, NC

Credit Cindy Cornett Seigle / Flickr/Creative Commons

On Thursday, the Durham City Manager will present the City Council with a recommendation that police officers be required to get consent in writing before searching a vehicle. This is part of a response to months of debate over reports of racial bias in the Durham police department.

Durham Deputy Police Chief Larry Smith would have to implement such a process. Smith recently presented to the city council two examples of how a consent form works now and how a search would work if an officer were required to get consent in writing. 

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The State of Things
12:08 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

DNA Evidence Frees Brothers After 31 Years In Prison

Geraldine Brown laughs and her brother Henry McCollum, left, wipes away tears as he and his brother Leon Brown, right, stand in her front yard in Fayetteville on Wednesday.
CHUCK LIDDY — cliddy@newsobserver.com |

  

In 1983, Henry McCollum and Leon Brown were convicted of the murder and rape of an 11-year-old girl in Robeson County. 

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Law
9:36 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Durham City Council Wants To Require Police Officers To Get Written Consent For Searches

Durham Police headquarters
Credit Durham Police

Members of the Durham City Council are trying to address concerns that police officers disproportionately stop and search black men. Four of the seven members gave their support on Thursday afternoon for requiring officers to get a driver's written consent before searching his vehicle.
 

City manager Tom Bonfield has suggested officers should be required to get consent in some recorded form - either video, audio or writing - but Mayor Bill Bell says that overcomplicates things.

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Law
4:35 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Durham: New Policies For The Police Department?

Recently Durham City Council heard recommendations from the City Manager on how to improve police and community relations.
Credit Jorge Valencia

In Durham, the City Council could vote Tuesday night to change some policies for the police department.

At least two council members suggest the city manager's recent recommendations do not go far enough to improve the relationship between police officers and the community.

Durham Mayor Pro Tem Cora Cole-McFadden spoke on WUNC’s The State of Things Tuesday. She took issue with a recommendation which would allow officers to decide whether they need to get written consent before searching an individual.

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Law
5:08 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

New Civil Rights Commission Appointee Reflects On Voting Laws, Ferguson

Patricia Timmons-Goodson
Credit Duke University Law School

This summer President Obama appointed former North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Patricia Timmons-Goodson to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.  The Commission, an eight member panel, is charged with developing federal civil rights policy.  

Timmons-Goodson was the first African American female appointed to the North Carolina Supreme Court.  She spoke with  Phoebe Judge about the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown and changes in North Carolina's voting rights laws, among other topics.

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Law
9:51 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Fayetteville Police Chief: Collaboration Is Key To Stop Human Trafficking

Credit Alejandro Mejía Greene/JubiloHaku / Flickr

Police in Fayetteville say they will work with other local authorities to crack down on human trafficking in North Carolina. 

The Cumberland County District Attorney joined Fayetteville's mayor and police chief this week to renew their efforts to fight traffickers. 

The state's largest cities have reported several cases in recent months that involved kidnappings and forcing victims into prostitution. 

Fayetteville police chief Harold Medlock says the crime is not new in North Carolina, but authorities need to collaborate more to catch offenders.

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