News Roundup

In North Carolina, the top story is the exoneration of Henry McCollum and Leon Brown, who were incarcerated for over 30 years in connection with the rape and murder of 11-year-old Sabrina Buie. DNA evidence links another man to the crime, and the prosecutor is reportedly considering bringing charges against him. McCollum was on death row. WRAL has the story here. One interesting sidebar is that in Callins v. Collins, 510 U.S. 1141 (1994), Justice Scalia referenced the case as an example of a particularly appropriate one for the death penalty.

In other news:

Ferguson police adopt body cameras. Tensions seem to have calmed a bit in Ferguson, Missouri. One concrete reform that has already resulted from the situation is the adoption of body cameras by the police. As this local story observes, companies have donated 50 body cameras to the department, and they are already in use, apparently to the satisfaction of all concerned.

Blame and celebrity nude photo hacking. It was revealed this week that hackers obtained nude photos of several celebrities, including Jennifer Lawrence, apparently by hacking into their cloud storage. That’s a crime, of course. Some have also suggested that it was foolish for the celebrities involved to take such photos, or to store them without greater safety precautions. Eugene Volokh recently posted this thoughtful piece about when using such an incident as a teachable moment about digital security bleeds into blaming the victim.

The zombie defense. Park Dietz & Associates, a forensic psychiatry outfit, has this interesting post about the Ambien defense, which the post somewhat provocatively characterizes as “the zombie defense.” I’ve previously posted about the related issue of automatism under North Carolina law.

There was hardly any left over! Finally, a woman in Arkansas was charged with stealing $144 worth of eye shadow. You can see her mug shot in this local story. I’m not saying it is conclusive evidence of guilt, but it is certainly going to be difficult for the defense to explain.

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