Again this week the coronavirus pandemic was the dominant news story across the nation, with many communities around North Carolina issuing stay at home orders directing residents to avoid leaving their homes except for essential activities. We continue to be grateful for the efforts of North Carolinians on the front lines of the pandemic – healthcare providers, emergency responders, law enforcement, state and local government officials and employees, and those who work in essential businesses. Keep reading for more news.
The novel coronavirus pandemic has drastically altered the lives of all Americans in the space of just a week. Shea and Jamie blogged on Monday about limitations on court proceedings designed to minimize close interactions and the correctional system’s response to the crises. Shea was back on the blog again on Thursday discussing recent limitations on the operation of bars and restaurants as well as an extension of certain court filing deadlines. We appreciate the work of state and local officials, court system actors, and law enforcement and other emergency response agencies during this trying time. Stay safe and keep reading for more news. Continue reading →
On Tuesday, an officer-involved shooting in Raleigh set off protests in the city that were fueled in part by social media postings in the immediate hours after the event. A Raleigh police officer shot Javier Torres after responding to a 911 call reporting that a man was displaying a gun at a local strip mall. Soon after the shooting, rumors posted on Facebook motivated protests in downtown Raleigh, at the police chief’s home, and at the governor’s mansion. Keep reading for more on this story and other news.
The News & Observer reports that this week a federal jury in Charlotte convicted Greg Lindberg of attempting to bribe State Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey to give favorable treatment to Lindberg’s insurance business. As the News Roundup previously has noted, Lindberg was accused of working with Robin Hayes, the former chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party, to bribe Causey. Lindberg has been one of the largest political donors in North Carolina in recent years. Causey, who reported the attempted bribe to federal investigators, said in a statement following the conviction that it “show[ed[ that the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance is not for sale.” Keep reading for more news.
As the Associated Press reports, movie producer Harvey Weinstein was convicted by a jury in New York this week of rape and sexual assault offenses against two women. The verdicts, accompanied by several acquittals on other offenses including on the most serious charges Weinstein faced – two counts of predatory sexual assault, came after five days of deliberation by a jury that indicated at times through notes to the presiding judge that it may deadlock on some counts. Weinstein was detained in custody following the verdict and is scheduled to be sentenced early next month, where he faces up to 25 years of imprisonment on the sexual assault offense and up to four years on the rape offense. Other sexual assault charges are pending against Weinstein in California. Allegations that Weinstein had engaged in a years-long pattern of sexual abuse in his position as a powerful Hollywood producer were widely seen as a touchstone moment in #MeToo movement when they became public in 2017. Keep reading for more news. Continue reading →
Criminal justice issues continued to capture the national news spotlight this week. On Tuesday, President Donald Trump granted clemency to eleven people, including former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and former San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr. On Thursday, amidst ongoing drama involving President Trump and the U.S. Department of Justice, Roger Stone was sentenced to 40 months in prison for convictions related to obstructing a congressional investigation. Keep reading for more on these stories and other news.
As the New York Times reports, the major criminal law news of the week was the sudden withdrawal of four federal prosecutors from Roger Stone’s criminal case after senior Justice Department officials intervened to recommend a sentence that was more lenient than what had been recommended by the prosecution team. Stone was convicted by a Washington, D.C., jury of seven criminal offenses late last year, including five counts of lying to congress, one count of witness tampering, and one count of obstruction. Keep reading for more news.