News Roundup

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Superior Court Judge Arnold Jones, the Chair of the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission, was arrested this week and charged in federal court with bribery and related offenses. WRAL reports here that the judge allegedly attempted “to bribe an FBI officer [by paying him $100] to collect text messages between two phone numbers in what the judge said was a family matter.”In other news:

Criminal defense lawyer helps man escape burning vehicle. WRAL has a nice story here about John McWilliam, a criminal defense lawyer who noticed that an occupied vehicle was on fire and alerted the occupant, who was able to escape without injury.

Adulterated Halloween candy. I noted in a post a few years ago that it is rare, but not unheard of, to find foreign objects in Halloween candy. WRAL reports here on one of those rare occurrences – an incident in Holly Springs this year in which a needle was detected in a candy bar. No one was injured, fortunately.

Ohio marijuana legalization initiative fails. Public attitudes towards marijuana are changing, but Ohio voters declined to jump on the legalization bandwagon this week. They soundly rejected a ballot initiative that would have legalized marijuana — and would have granted the exclusive right to grow it to 10 specific producers. USA Today has the story here.

That sentence is no laughing matter. A federal judge in California sentenced a defendant to a year and a day in prison, but doubled it to two years after he noticed the defendant laughing. The increased sentence was just affirmed on appeal, as U.S. News reports here. The dissenting judge viewed the revised sentence as “draconian” and “imposed out of haste and imprudence.”

Today is Love Your Lawyer Day! Finally, it’s the first Friday in November, meaning that today is Love Your Lawyer Day. It has been an informal holiday for the past 15 years but for the first time has been made semi-officially through recognition by the American Bar Association’s Law Practice Council. Bloomberg has the details here. But go ahead and show some appreciation for the lawyers in your life today!

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8 comments on “News Roundup

  1. Love Your Lawyer Day seems like a perfect time to tell you how much I appreciate your blog! Keep up the good work!

  2. I know absolutely nothing about Judge Arnold Jones but how simple would it have been for that FBI agent to say, when first approached, “Hey, Judge, that’s a federal crime; I can’t do that, ” thus ending this tempest in a teapot before it ever got started?

    • There is no headline in “Judge Does Not Commit Crime”.

    • When I hear about incidents such as this, it makes me wonder how often public officials make informal requests like this that are granted.

    • “how simple would it have been for that FBI agent to say, when first approached, “Hey, Judge, that’s a federal crime; I can’t do that, ” thus ending this tempest in a teapot before it ever got started?”
      – That is exactly what happened. The FBI agent told him he needed P.C. and a search warrant to get this info, but the Judge insisted. And when has it ever been a “tempest in a teapot” (as you so glibly put it) for a sitting Judge to attempt to bribe an FBI agent? Stop trying to blame LEO’s for other people’s crimes.

  3. Of course that would have been the simpler, smarter, and cheaper route, but too many cops would rather do something to make a name for themselves at the taxpayers’ expense in order to bolster their resumes

  4. Regarding Judge Arnold Jones, I smell dirty politics. He was head of the Innocence Inquiry Commission.

    This stinks to high heaven.

  5. The reason the pot bill failed in Ohio was the dislike of the proposed system, not a majority disapproval of pot use . Ten wealthy parties were selected to grow and distribute all cannabis, shutting down home growers and competitive dispensaries . Monopolies are distrusted for good reason, and the fact that most pro-legalization voters voted against the law proves that just getting the legal onus of prohibition lifted was not enough for the majority to abandon core values . Better to craft a good law in the future than approve a bad one . After all, availability is not impacted by prohibition .

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