Law and the Courts

Law and the Courts

Law and the Courts Top Story

Are NC district attorneys a roadblock to needed criminal justice reform?

Lawmakers, civil rights groups and researchers say DAs often thwart necessary change Jim Woodall made a promise to the family of Eve Carson, the UNC-Chapel Hill student body president who was murdered in 2008. Laurence Alvin Lovette Jr., 17 years old at the time, was convicted of first-degree murder for killing Carson after a robbery attempt.

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Law and the Courts News Top Story

Black people in North Carolina twice as likely to be killed by police as whites

Council for Criminal Justice says police are poorly trained to de-escalate tense situations. Implicit racial bias is widespread. Black people were twice as likely to be killed by the police in North Carolina than whites from 2013 to 2021, according to the Mapping Police Violence Project.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Bill seeks to increase penalties for “rioters,” but advocates worry about threat posed to free speech

Biracial.’ ‘Artist.’ ‘Supporter of social justice.’ Nic Cassette could think of many labels describing his identity. ‘Rioter,’ however, was never one of them. An Alamance County prosecutor, however, saw it differently. Cassette was among a group of demonstrators who were charged under the state's rioting statute after a succession of demonstrations in Graham. 

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Advocates say Senate leader Phil Berger is torpedoing effort to end child marriage 

Under amended legislation, 8th graders will still be able to wed in North Carolina, but not buy a lottery ticket or work with commercial ovens Dr. Judy Wiegand was only 13 years old when her mother accompanied her to get married to the 16-year-old father of her unborn child in Virginia.

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Law and the Courts News Top Story

PW exclusive: NC minister who counseled George Floyd’s family discusses the Chauvin verdict

Rev. Gregory Drumwright, who was in the courtroom Tuesday, has hope and continuing concern about the relationship between law enforcement and Black Americans The minutes leading to Judge Peter Cahill’s reading of the jury verdict in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin were filled with anxiety, angst and uncertainty, says Rev. Gregory Drumwright, a Greensboro minister who has provided pastoral care to George Floyd’s family the past several months.

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COVID-19 Law and the Courts News Top Story

As landlords find loopholes to evict tenants, a concurrent push for gentrification in communities of color

The red Honda parked on Debee Anderson's lawn saved her and her daughter's life when they fled Hurricane Florence in September 2018. Anderson was picking up medication for her daughter and about to return to her Spring Lake home when a state trooper told her she couldn't, because of river flooding.

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Law and the Courts News Top Story

Renters facing eviction must navigate a legal labyrinth that favors lawyers and landlords

A morning in evictions court: 123 cases, residents of 31 households on the verge of homelessness On the brisk Monday morning of March 29, Magistrate William Glascoff in the Forsyth County small claims court handed down one eviction judgment after another. Residents of 31 households lost their homes.

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COVID-19 Law and the Courts News Top Story

House of cards: Despite a federal stay on evictions, landlords are ousting their tenants

Legal loopholes in the moratorium fail to protect some renters Kerston Rankins put all her plans and belongings for a better life in boxes when she moved to Winston-Salem. Five chests of clothes, three cases of DVDs and several other keepsakes, which she and her husband loaded in the car and drove up from Statesville.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Voting rights advocates air worries about onslaught of new state election laws

NC's G.K. Butterfield and Allison Riggs featured prominently in U.S. House hearing WASHINGTON—A U.S. House elections panel on Thursday heard from witnesses about the need to craft a new formula that identifies which states or jurisdictions have problematic histories of racial discrimination when it comes to access to the ballot box.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Senate committee rehashes 2020 battles over election rules – here’s what happened and what they were debating

Republicans on the Senate Redistricting and Elections Committee questioned the legitimacy of rule changes enacted last year by the State Board of Elections in a contentious two-hour hearing Tuesday with the board's executive director Karen Brinson Bell. Sen. Paul Newton, a Cabarrus County Republican co-chairing the committee, described the board's settlement with voting rights groups, which resulted in a modified process of voting, as "secretly negotiated" and motivated by partisan advantage.

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COVID-19 Law and the Courts News Top Story

NC courts expand in-person proceedings, but online options may not be going anywhere

As with many other public and private institutions, the North Carolina court system is slowly but surely reopening to more in-person proceedings as COVID-19 infection and death rates continue to trend downward. It could, however, be a very long time before things return to "normal." Indeed, if recently introduced legislation and the assessments of some experts end up holding sway, online proceedings could become a permanent part of state judicial proceedings.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

AOC Director Andrew Heath kept his special judgeship and received an unprecedented pay raise. But is he really doing two jobs?

On his first day as director of the Administrative Office of the Courts, Andrew Heath got a pay raise of more than $12,000. While the salary hike might be expected for a directorship, Heath's case is different. He had a benefit most state and private-sector workers don't have: his choice of salaries.

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Law and the Courts News Top Story

‘Raise the Age’: Where things stand after one year

Despite challenges posed by the pandemic, NC's new juvenile justice law is making a difference A state juvenile justice committee plans to ask the General Assembly for $6.7 million to accommodate more teens in the Raise the Age program.

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COVID-19 Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

After a pandemic pause, jury trials are back. The assurance of a “jury of peers,” however, may be missing.

Plus: A guide for what to expect from a jury summons now After state Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul Newby let a statewide pause to most in-person court proceedings expire, some jurisdictions are pressing ahead with jury trials.

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Law and the Courts News Top Story

After Trump’s rush of executions, President Biden and a Democratic Congress want to abolish the federal death penalty

While former President Trump was ending his term by granting last-minute clemency to aides and those in his close circles convicted of white-collar crimes and obstruction of justice, his administration was ordering the executions of 13 people on ...
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Law and the Courts News Top Story

Legal scholars: Constitution clear that Trump’s impeachment for role in Capitol attack is appropriate

As the U.S. House impeached President Trump for the second time for "incitement of insurrection" Wednesday afternoon, many legal and political science scholars have decried his behavior and are demanding accountability to the Constitution.  The Constitution lays the ground rules in Article 2, Section 4...

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