This week’s roundup is packed full of good stuff, including news about a new member of the court of appeals, information about North Carolina’s leading role in a major law review piece, data on prosecutor diversity, an announcement of a new publication, and more. Check it out!
New judge appointed to court of appeals. The News and Observer reports here, but the basics are as follows:
Gov. Pat McCrory announced Thursday he has appointed to the state appeals court Valerie Johnson Zachary, who ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the court last year.
This will be the first time that she has been a judge. Zachary has been in private practice in Yadkinville since 1989. She is a Harvard Law School graduate who was a litigation associate with the Charlotte-based Kennedy, Covington, Lobdell & Hickman firm after graduation.
She is a past president of the Yadkin County Bar, and is a registered Republican. Zachary replaces Judge Sanford L. Steelman Jr., who recently retired.
Federal judge slams criminal justice system, lauds North Carolina. Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski is one of the most colorful and provocative members of the federal judiciary. He wrote the preface to this year’s Georgetown Law Journal Annual Review of Criminal Procedure, arguing that our criminal justice system convicts too many innocent people and imprisons too many guilty ones for too long. He proposes a number of reforms, several of which North Carolina has already adopted in whole or in part, including open file discovery, video recording of interrogation, and eyewitness identification reform (“North Carolina leads the way, once again, with the Eyewitness Identification Reform Act . . .”). But he also proposes plenty of things we’re not doing, like placing limits on informant testimony and giving jurors a major role in sentencing.
New York Times criticizes lack of diversity among prosecutors. Where do we stand? This New York Times article reports that 95% of America’s elected prosecutors are white, that most states that elect prosecutors have no black elected prosecutors, and that only 17% of elected prosecutors are female. How do we stack up? Among our 44 prosecutorial districts, we have two African-American elected district attorneys (5%) and ten females (23%).
Update to Arrest Warrant and Indictment Forms. In an annual ritual that is nearly as exciting as a new Harry Potter release, the 2014 update to Arrest Warrant and Indictment Forms is now available, for free, here. (No need to stand in line outside the School of Government.) It has twelve new forms and will be of use to anyone who has the main volume. I’ll get to work on the 2015 update when the General Assembly finishes its session.
Now that’s a police car! I blogged here about the possibility of using hybrid or other fuel-efficient vehicles for law enforcement purposes. At the other end of the automotive spectrum, check out these police cars, including Lamborghinis, Ferraris, and even a Bugatti Veyron, the fastest production vehicle in the world. Sure, it costs $2 million, but the police in Dubai need to be able to catch oil magnates speeding in supercars. Hey, I believe that the Wake County Sheriff’s Office has a Corvette! A nice car to be sure, but it’s no Bugatti.