Archives by: Melissa Boughton

Melissa Boughton

About the author

Melissa Boughton, Courts and Law Reporter, joined N.C. Policy Watch in September 2016. She covers local, state and federal courts and writes about key decisions that impact the lives of North Carolinians. Before joining the project, Melissa worked the crime and courts beats at The Post and Courier in Charleston, S.C.; The Winchester Star in Winchester, Va.; and The Kerrville Daily Times in Kerrville, TX. While reporting in Charleston, she covered the Emanuel church shootings and the police killing of Walter Scott. She was part of the team that was named a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in breaking news reporting for coverage of Scott’s death.

melissa@ncpolicywatch.com
919-861-1454

Melissa Boughton's articles and posts

Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Hofeller files: Lawmakers lied to federal court in 2017, preventing NC from getting special election

The 2011 North Carolina legislative maps are among the largest racial gerrymanders ever encountered by a federal court, and the state could have held a special election under new voting districts, but GOP lawmakers lied about needing more ...
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Law and the Courts Top Story

NC officials dismiss hundreds of thousands of old court cases as part of massive data ‘clean-up’

The North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) has been quietly facilitating the dismissals of hundreds of thousands of criminal charges and infractions across the state for the past two years as part of a data clean-up effort. Each of the cases dismissed had been pending for years – some for decades – without prosecution...

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Law and the Courts Top Story

DACA, undocumented NC students ask lawmakers for same opportunities as peers

Jose Blanco dreams of being a U.S. Marine and fighting for the country he grew up in. “I just want to serve as much as a lot of people want to serve their country,” said the 17-year-old Porter Ridge High School student.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Judicial nominee Farr joins GOP defense team in redistricting litigation

It appears that Thomas Farr is back in the game – the North Carolina redistricting game, that is. The recent Trump nominee for a federal judgeship in North Carolina's Eastern District filed paperwork last week to appear in court on behalf of the GOP legislative defendants in Common Cause v. Lewis, a challenge to the 2017 legislative map on grounds that it violates the state constitution as an extreme partisan gerrymander.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

‘Reform is the answer:’ Voters gather at legislature to lobby for an end to gerrymandering

Redistricting reform is around the corner, and when it happens, it could move quickly – North Carolinians just have to think about what they want that reform to look like. “We do have a voice; we do have an opportunity,” said Bob Phillips, Executive Director of Common Cause North Carolina, a voting rights organization that has pushed for redistricting reform for over a decade.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Gerrymandering lawsuit stunner: Daughter of deceased GOP mapmaker turns over his documents to Common Cause

The daughter of late GOP mapmaker Thomas Hofeller – the man is responsible for some of North Carolina’s most infamous gerrymanders – turned over four of his external hard drives and 18 thumb drives after his death to the plaintiffs suing North Carolina lawmakers. Stephanie Hofeller Lizon gave the documents to attorneys in March, a month after she was issued a subpoena...

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Barber, other NC panelists at congressional hearing: Restore the Voting Rights Act

It would take eight years to undo what an unconstitutionally-elected GOP super-majority did to voting rights in North Carolina in the past several years, the Rev. William Barber II testified before a House congressional committee last week.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at the cost of excessive court debt

The ACLU of North Carolina released a report last week examining the true cost of excessive court debt to defendants. It documents hundreds of cases of people jailed over unpaid court debt...

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Law and the Courts Top Story

ACLU report: NC court fines, fees create modern-day debtor’s prison

The North Carolina General Assembly has spent the past few years making a concerted effort to impose increasing court fines and fees on poor defendants while giving judges less and less discretion to waive them in extenuating circumstances.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Amid 287(g) controversy, North Carolina sheriff pitches the immigration program

CONCORD – Cabarrus County Sheriff Van Shaw was elected last year on a platform that promised his constituents he would continue to work closely with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to deport unlawful immigrants accused of crimes. He is one of four sheriffs in the state who participates in 287(g)...

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