News Roundup

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As the News & Observer reports, the Orange County Republican Party headquarters in Hillsborough was firebombed and vandalized over the weekend. According to the report, “[a] flaming bottle was thrown through a window of the office” and an adjacent building was vandalized with paintings of a swastika and the phrase “Nazi Republicans leave town or else.” The incident drew the attention of both presidential candidates, and vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence and Governor McCrory each visited the headquarters. McCrory has offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case. Keep reading for more news.

Where All the Judges Are Above Average. The North Carolina Bar Association has released the 2016 Election Edition of the Judicial Performance Evaluation Survey. The document presents the results of the Bar Association’s survey of North Carolina lawyers about their opinions of the professional qualities and skills of candidates who are running to be trial court judges.

Kania Guilty of Involuntary Manslaughter. The Asheboro Courier-Tribune reports that a jury convicted former UNC student Chandler Kania of involuntary manslaughter earlier this week. Kania was charged with second-degree murder for driving the wrong way on the highway while intoxicated and killing three people. Kania already had pleaded guilty to three counts of felony death by motor vehicle, among other charges, and was sentenced to consecutive prison terms on the felony death charges.

News & Observer Liable for Libel. The News & Observer reports that a Wake County jury has returned a $7.5 million libel verdict against the paper. Plaintiff Beth Desmond, an agent for the State Bureau of Investigation, sued the News & Observer “for libel over 2010 coverage of her ballistics analysis and testimony in a 2006 murder trial in Pitt County.” According to the article, the paper “had reported that independent firearms experts questioned whether she knew anything about firearms analysis, and that some suspected she fabricated evidence to help Pitt County prosecutors win a murder conviction.” As the News Roundup previously noted, the scientific validity of firearm analysis, and many other forensic disciplines, recently has come under increased scrutiny.

I’ve Just Seen a Face. The Washington Post says that a new report from the Center for Privacy & Technology at Georgetown University’s law school suggests that “[t]he growing use of facial-recognition systems has led to a high-tech form of racial profiling, with African Americans more likely than others to have their images captured, analyzed and reviewed during computerized searches for crime suspects.” Various problems contribute to the phenomenon including that the databases are rarely “scrubbed” of innocent people and some systems “struggle to distinguish among darker-skinned faces.” The report is titled “The Perpetual Line-Up” and is available here.

She Ain’t Got Time for Your Blues. The Washington Post reports that a Houston 911 operator, Crenshanda Williams, may have hung up on thousands of calls between October 2015 and March 2016. In one instance, seemingly annoyed by a security guard’s attempt to report highway drag racing, Williams tells the guard just before hanging up: “Ain’t nobody got time for this. For real.” She now faces two counts of interfering with an emergency communication.

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One comment on “News Roundup

  1. I personally feel that Political Parties need to be stripped of their control over our nomination (selection), and voting process. As I see it, the Political Parties have seized control of our nomination and election process, just as G Washington warned the People of in his farewell address. This being said I will say that what happened at the GOP Headquarters is wrong, and those behind it need to be found and prosecuted.

    As an ‘unaffiliated voter’ I will be forced to ‘hold my nose’ and cast a ballot during this election cycle just as I have for others previously. I am ‘denied equal suffrage’ during the Primaries unless I choose to vote ‘all one Political Party’ because they not the State make the rules concerning their ballots. In this sense I feel the election process is in fact ‘rigged’ against the private Citizens, whom have no ties to industry other than being ‘voluntary servants’ to them.

    The Political Parties are in fact ‘corporations’ themselves, and in my opinion, views, and past experiences they create and promote laws most beneficial to business (Both Non Profit and For Profit) at the expense of the ‘voluntary servants’ used by them for their tax sheltered gains. Those persons seeking nomination, and eventually Public Office will say and do anything to get a vote seems to be what past experience shows, but once elected always do what is best for the ‘corporations’ they are part of (The incorporated Non Profit Political Parties themselves, as well as, the State, County, and other Municipal institutions which are also incorporated/corporations).

    Mt views of the North Carolina Bar association (and others as well) is very low. I know for sure that people that have not committed any crime at all in North Carolina can be falsely accused, tried and convicted of crimes that never actually happened. The accusers in these instance all have ties to persons employed in government, or are government employees, and as such appear to be of a higher status than any private individual.

    Our so called fair, and unbiased system of Courts its ‘Officers’ by all appearances do what is most ‘equitable’ for the Bar association and Courts (State). It is well known that many of our State Legislatures are in fact Bar members themselves that pay into the Bar system of retirement so they to benefit when the Courts Officers do what is most ‘equitable’ for the Bar and the State.

    Many People wonder why at times the State will drop a charge, or fail to prosecute a charge till the statute of limitations expire. In some instances it is because it would be discovered that the States star witness[s] had committed several crimes and the end result would be an acquittal if it went to trial. They are protecting the criminal agents of the State because they understand that if during the trial it was discovered their agent was in fact a criminal and the case were dismissed, that it opens the door for ‘liability’ claims against the State that the Bar Association feeds from.

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