News Roundup

Come on, fellow citizens! Enough with the nudist exhibitionism in residential neighborhoods! According to this local story, a Salisbury man has been arrested and charged with indecent exposure after “sitting in the back yard totally naked . . . less than thirty feet from where [a neighbor’s] teen daughter was riding a horse.” We’ve had several somewhat similar incidents in the state recently, and regular readers may recall the controversy over whether nudity in one’s home or yard that is visible to others qualifies as indecent exposure. (I discussed that issue here.)

In other news:

United States Attorney steps into the sweepstakes brouhaha. According to this WRAL report, a number of major electronic sweepstakes businesses have agreed to stop operating in the state as a result of discussions with the United States Attorney’s Office. The story doesn’t say why the USAO took an interest in the issue or what leverage the USAO would have in the matter. If anyone has more information that they’re in a position to share, please post a comment.

Cattle rustlin’ is alive and well. According to WRAL, an Alamance County man has been charged with embezzlement in connection with the theft of 189 Black Angus cattle worth $371,700. That’s a lot of beef, but everything’s bigger in Texas, including cattle rustling. This fivethirtyeight.com article explores the connection between beef prices (up) and cattle theft in the Lone Star State (up, because there’s more incentive to steal, but down, because cattle owners are taking more precautions).

Altered fingerprints. The current issue of the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin has an intriguing and unnerving story about people who alter their fingerprints in an effort to evade detection by law enforcement. Techniques include the Z-pattern cut, the “burn method,” and sandpaper. Ouch.

The technological revolution and prison, an uneasy fit. I stumbled on two stories about technology and corrections this week that I thought were interesting. Here, Gizmodo discusses how JPay, an inmate telecommunications provider, claims ownership of all content sent through its network. So if an inmate writes a Mother’s Day poem to his mother, or draws a picture for his daughter, and sends them through JPay, they belong to the service. And here is a skeptical take on video visitation, which portrays it as a system that mainly benefits the companies that provide it at the expense of the inmates and their families, who pay for it. I take both stories with a grain of salt, but I do think it is important to be vigilant about how these sorts of services are structured and who they serve.

Finally, Baltimore. I haven’t followed the Freddie Gray case extremely closely, but I did note this interesting profile of Marilyn Mosby, the 35-year-old head prosecutor in Baltimore. WRAL has a story here about how difficult it may be for Ms. Mosby to prove the charges that she has brought.

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