Law

Courtesy of Carolina Public Press

Fewer than a quarter of people charged with sexual assault in North Carolina from 2014-2018 were convicted of a sex-related crime. That is according to a new analysis from 11 news organizations in North Carolina, led by Carolina Public Press. The reporting also identifies big disparities in conviction rates from one county to the next.

Three women holding signs protesting sexual assault on campus.
Fibonacci Blue / Creative Commons https://bit.ly/1WNVq77

Statistics show that one in three women and one in six men in the United States experience some form of sexual violence over their lifetime. The risk of sexual assault is much higher for people who are college-aged. A recent student experience survey from Duke University shows that 48 percent of undergraduate women say they have been sexually assaulted since enrolling.

Through The Eyes Of A Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner

Mar 20, 2019
Rape kit supplies
Robert C. Reed / Hickory Daily Record

By Jordan Hensley, Hickory Daily Record

About once per month, one of the two sexual assault nurse examiners at Frye Regional Medical Center in Hickory receives the call: A sexual assault patient needs an exam.

In this May 2, 2006, file photo, attorney Freda Black announces she will wait for all her results for Durham County District Attorney to be tallied during a gathering at the University Towers in Durham, N.C. An autopsy released Monday, March 18, 2019.
Sara D. Davis / AP

An autopsy says natural causes claimed the life of a North Carolina prosecutor found dead at home last year amid attention over "The Staircase" documentary series.

One of the most prominent members of special counsel Robert Mueller's team investigating Russia's attack on the 2016 presidential election will soon leave the office and the Justice Department, two sources close to the matter tell NPR.

Mr.TinDC / Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/mr_t_in_dc/3345998000#

In June 2005, a 63-year-old woman was thrown from a tram at the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro. It tipped and landed on her, seriously injuring her shoulder and requiring years of treatment. The state paid out $85,000 more than a decade later.

Cheri Beasley became North Carolina's first African-American female chief justice.
Paul Woolverton / The Fayetteville Observer

North Carolina's first African-American female chief justice says she believes her elevation to the post brings "a lot of hope and promise" to the state and for young people to become whoever they want.

NC Attorney General Josh Stein.
Courtesy of Matt Bush at Blue Ridge Public Radio

State legislators are considering new measures to deter and punish child sexual abuse. A bill filed in the Senate would extend the statute of limitations for such crimes – and expand reporting requirements.

Attorney General Josh Stein said the legislation aims to protect children wherever they are.

a photo of Smiley's Farmer's Market empty.
Cass Herrington

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested more than 200 people around North Carolina in early February. And according to new reporting, this action had a noticeable impact on local commerce in western North Carolina. 

Allison Jones Rushing
Williams and Connolly

The U.S. Senate has confirmed a 37-year-old lawyer as a judge on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals despite opposition from civil rights and LGBTQ groups.

Allison Jones Rushing was nominated by President Donald Trump in August for the lifetime appointment. She was confirmed Tuesday by a vote along party lines.

Almost every morning in January and February, Patrick Parsons records a live Facebook video across the street from the Georgia capitol.

While it looks picturesque online, in person, it’s not the world’s most glamorous moment.

“I’ll probably go over there by the trash can, which is where I usually do it,” said Parsons, laughing. It’s easier to fit the gold dome of the capitol building into the frame from there.

Photo from the ICE raid at Bear Creek Arsenal in Sanford.
Courtesy of Ilana Dubester

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents detained at least 200 people in North Carolina earlier this month. In a press conference, ICE Atlanta Field Office Director Sean Gallagher told journalists that more visible enforcement is a direct consequence of decreased cooperation between ICE and local law enforcement agencies. 

A picture of a jail cell
ALEXVAN / PIXABAY

A new paper from Duke University concludes that North Carolina should end the sentence of life without parole for juvenile offenders. “Juvenile Life Without Parole in North Carolina” looks at the cases of 94 people sentenced to life without parole as juveniles in the state and finds almost half of them have been overturned. 

After the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, government investigators and contractors who process firearms dealer and special weapons licenses are staring at an application backlog that likely runs into the tens of thousands. As the possibility of another shutdown looms, so, too, does the the likelihood of that backlog increasing exponentially.

A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrest.
Wikimedia Commons

Last week U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents detained at least 200 people in enforcement actions around the state. Officials raided a gun manufacturing plant in Sanford and arrested people at traffic stop check points in various cities. 

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has named Cheri Beasley as next Chief Justice of NC Supreme Court.
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Cheri Beasley will be the court's next chief justice. Beasley will be the first African-American woman to lead the highest court in the state.

Rev. Curtis Gatewood
AlamanceCountyNC / youtube.com/watch?v=cg3TXJsaOJo

The leader of the Alamance NAACP chastised the county board of commissioners this week for supporting Sheriff Terry Johnson's immigration detention plan.

Prison cell
DOliphant via Flickr

The State Employees Association of North Carolina is asking the Legislature to improve pay, staffing, equipment, training and benefits for corrections officers.

Image of Asheville police car
Osajus / Flickr Creative Commons

African-Americans in Asheville are far more likely to be charged with resisting an officer during a police encounter than white people. A five-year analysis of arrest records from the Asheville Citizen-Times shows that 35 percent of resisting an officer charges — sometimes called “resist, delay, obstruct” or RDO — were made against African-Americans, even though black people are only 12 percent of the Asheville population.

Danny Rogers, Guilford County's new sheriff.
Courtesy of Danny Rogers

Seven new African-American sheriffs were voted into office in the November midterms, and among them is Danny Rogers. On Monday, Dec. 3 Rogers became the first African-American at the helm of the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office

Judy Amabile has a crumpled sleeping bag laid out on the porch of her bright, beautiful home in downtown Boulder, Colorado.

“My son isn’t supposed to come in the house when he’s been drinking. That’s why we have this sleeping bag out here,” she explained. “Anybody else would look at that and think uh, what? But for us it’s like…That’s life.”

Life with Amabile’s son, 26, can be a struggle; the problem isn’t only alcohol abuse. He has been diagnosed with depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder, she says, so many diagnoses that she just isn’t sure what’s wrong.

Prison Bars
Michael Coghlan / Flickr Creative Commons

The Alamance County Board of Commissioners approved a $2.8 million budget for staffing, raises and equipment upgrades, so that the county jail could resume detaining federal immigration inmates.

Stephanie Bond was married to her husband for almost 22 years before he called her into the master bedroom one afternoon in February 2010.

“He pulled out a .45-caliber gun and shot me three times in our walk-in closet with three of the four children at the home,” Bond said. “After he shot me, he put the gun in his mouth and killed himself — and died next to me.”

Photo: Reading behind bars
Impact Sports Prison Ministry

A record number of inmates killed themselves in North Carolina last year. Twelve inmates committed suicide in 2018, compared to six in 2017 and seven the year before. State prison officials are now forming a suicide prevention task force to address the issue.

Supreme Court building, Washington, DC, USA. Front facade.
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Daderot

The Supreme Court is plunging back into the issue of whether electoral districts can be too partisan.

The Trump Administration says it will soon place a federal ban on bump stocks, the gun attachments that allow semi-automatic rifles to fire faster. Ten states banned the plastic device after it was used by a gunman in Las Vegas to shoot and kill 58 people in 2017.

Without any enhancement, semi-automatic rifles fire one bullet per trigger pull. Bump stocks harness the gun’s recoil to speed up the rate of fire, allowing the gun to pump out bullets faster.

FILE - In a Tuesday June 6, 2017 file photo, hydrologist William K. Jones, walks up a mountain near the route of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline in Bolar, Va. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released its final environmental impact statement.
Steve Helber, File / AP

A permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to cross two national forests, including parts of the Appalachian Trail, was thrown out Thursday by a federal appeals court that harshly criticized regulators for approving the proposal.

photo of the Cherokee County Detention Center
Frank Taylor/Carolina Public Press

A former Cherokee County Detention Center officer has been indicted on assault charges after allegedly kicking an inmate in the face. This is one of a growing number of complaints against authorities at that detention center.

photo of Mayor Nancy Vaughn at table talking to people.
Jordan Green/Triad City Beat

The death of Marcus Deon Smith was declared a homicide by the state medical examiner’s office. Within hours of this news, a Guilford County superior court judge authorized the release of the camera footage from the incident, which shows Smith wandering in the street and behaving erratically and Greensboro police placing him in a controversial restraint many compare to “hog-tying.”

Photo of Protester with NC Stop Torture Now
Courtesy of NC Stop Torture Now / CC

A new in-depth report confirms that a North Carolina-based company “played an absolutely central role in the CIA’s torture program.” After an 18-month investigation, the North Carolina Commission of Inquiry on Torture identified 49 people who were taken on so-called “torture flights” by North Carolina-based aviation company Aero Contractors, Ltd., a private aviation company operating out of Johnston County. 

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