Archives by: Yanqi Xu

Yanqi Xu

About the author

Yanqi Xu, Courts, Law and Democracy Reporter, came to Policy Watch in December of 2020 from the Investigative Reporting Workshop in D.C., where she combined data and reporting to cover public accountability issues. Yanqi graduated with a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri in 2019. Her multimedia work appeared in PolitiFact and the Columbia Missourian, and was featured on the local NPR and NBC affiliates. Originally from China, Yanqi started her career producing newscasts to tell people what’s going on around the world.

Yanqi Xu's articles and posts

Law and the Courts Top Story

Wake district attorney faces spirited challenge in March 2022 primary

Challenger says Democratic incumbent is behind the times on issues like the death penalty and marijuana For the first time since winning election in 2014, Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman is facing a challenger in the 2022 Democratic primary: Damon Chetson, a criminal defense attorney who focuses on death penalty cases and high-level felonies in state and federal courts.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Voting rights advocates express concerns over redistricting process at the General Assembly

As lawmakers began drawing voting district maps last week, voting rights advocates and Republican lawmakers differed sharply on the fairness and adequacy of the process. According to the advocates, the process is flawed and fails to deliver on the promise of transparency or to adequately consider community input.

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Law and the Courts News Top Story

State Supreme Court to consider possibility of involuntary recusal for Justices Berger and Barringer

Court asks parties for briefs in case challenging 2018 constitutional amendments The Supreme Court of North Carolina issued an order Tuesday directing the parties in the case of NAACP v. Moore and Berger to submit new briefs addressing questions surrounding the recusal of justices.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Ambitious criminal justice reform agenda spurred by George Floyd murder makes little headway in NC

The murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May of 2020 and the demonstrations that ensued in scores of communities helped spur efforts across the nation during the months that followed to reassess systems of policing and criminal justice. North Carolina State Sen. Mujtaba Mohammed, D-Mecklenburg, says the Floyd murder illustrated an injustice in policing that is both “frightening” to a lot of people in the country and badly in need of attention...

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Monday numbers: a closer look at the election turnout rates of white and Black voters

As U.S. Senate Democrats united behind a bill dubbed the "Freedom to Vote Act" that would expand voter registration, promote nonpartisan redistricting and designate Election Day a federal holiday, experts at the Brennan Center for Justice have identified gaps in voter turnout that warrant stronger protection for non-white voters.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at mass incarceration in NC, and the implications for redistricting

Last week, the Prison Policy Initiative published a report – "States of Incarceration: The Global Context 2021" – which compared the incarceration rate of each state in the U.S. to other countries' rates. The research think tank used U.S. and United Nations crime and incarceration data (including figures from the Census Bureau, Bureau of Justice Statistics and the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting program) to illustrate a stark contrast between America and other countries.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

NC just enacted ambitious criminal justice reform legislation. Here’s what it does.

Gov. Roy Cooper signed a comprehensive criminal justice reform package (Senate Bill 300) into law last Thursday. The law became effective immediately. The bill, originally sponsored by Republicans with input from Democrats, gained bipartisan support – though not universal acclaim.

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COVID-19 News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW special report: A treatment for COVID-19…and a giant information gap 

Many North Carolinians who could benefit from a COVID-19 therapy lack information and access Treatment with special proteins called monoclonal antibodies is keeping some COVID-19 patients out of hospitals and is likely saving some lives. But North Carolina has huge information and delivery gaps to fill before many people who might qualify for the therapy know about it and can get it.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Advocates seek to make ‘communities of interest’ an important consideration in NC redistricting

For the first time, the North Carolina General Assembly is considering the characteristics of various communities as it redraws voting districts based on the latest census numbers. In so doing, lawmakers will examine geographic areas in which individuals have a commonality of shared interests that could affect legislation and should therefore be grouped together.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

PW special report: Demystifying the redistricting process

As lawmakers move forward with drawing new maps, experts explain the tricks of the trade, how we can do better, and why gerrymandering is so hard to eradicate State lawmakers voted to approve the new criteria for redrawing congressional, state House and Senate districts last week. Operating under the new criteria, legislators still have a lot of leeway, and it remains to be seen how the process plays out./p> ...

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