Crime

MRI brain scan
creative commons

In the not so distant future, brain scans may be as prevalent as DNA evidence in the criminal justice system. This neuroscientific evidence has the potential to correct biases and predict criminal recidivism. But critics argue it could be misleading and difficult to refute. Exploring the brain as a means of assessing intent also raises privacy concerns. 

Wake County District Attorney Colon WIlloughby
http://web.co.wake.nc.us/ / Wake County District Attorney's Office

  

In his 27 years as Wake County’s District Attorney, Colon Willoughby has prosecuted everything from high-profile murder cases to corruption in state government. For Willoughby, integrity and impartiality are vital components of the role. 

Photo: The old Jackson County Courthouse in Sylva, N.C.
Jimmy Emmerson via Flickr

North Carolina will move one step closer today to allowing people accused of a crime to waive the right to a trial by a jury of peers and instead choose to be tried by a judge.

A proposed constitutional amendment, which is scheduled for a public hearing March 17 in Raleigh, would allow any criminal defendant except for someone facing the possibility of death the right to waive a jury trial.

Gavel
SalFalko / Flickr Creative Commons

More than 40 new laws passed by state legislators earlier this year went into effect yesterday.

The laws that went on the books are primarily criminal. They include greater punishments for those who abuse or endanger children.

One of them would more than double the maximum prison terms for the most serious child abuse charge. It was inspired by the case of a three-year-old from Concord, who was severely beaten by her stepfather.

Gavel
SalFalko / Flickr Creative Commons

  

More than 40 new laws go into effect on December 1st in North Carolina.

They include harsher penalties for those who abuse or endanger children, and a lessening of punishments for certain misdemeanors. Host Frank Stasio gets an overview from Associated Press politics reporter Gary Robertson.

A teenager died in a Durham police car in the department’s headquarters parking lot early Tuesday after the officer driving him heard "a loud noise" in the car, authorities said. 

Central Prison
Dept. of Public Safety

State prison inmates will soon find it tougher to make home visits as their sentences wind down.  Governor Pat McCrory ordered a review of the program the Department of Public Safety has used for over four decades to reacclimate inmates to life outside prison walls.  He approved four recommendations he and DPS leaders believe may cut back on parolees returning to prison. 

City of Fayetteville Police Department
bethebadge.com

The FBI says Fayetteville has the fifth highest rate of property crime in America, according to analysis of crimes rates for large cities in 2012. The figures come in the same week the Fayetteville City Council voted to pass up a tax increase that would have raised money for 15 new police officers.

Elderly woman, Senior Citizen, Walking, Park,
Matthew Sanders via Flickr, Creative Commons

The Alamance County D.A. has started an effort to protect senior citizens from being crime victims.  Pat Nadolsli kicked off the 'Elder Abuse Initiative' Friday.  He says Alamance County data showed more than 300 cases of elder abuse and exploitation from 2011 to 2012.  Nadolski says the plan is to stop these crimes in the many forms they can take.

An electrical power substation in Orange County.
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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