News Roundup

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Today in Washington, Donald Trump will be inaugurated as the forty-fifth President of the United States.  By their nature, presidential inaugurations always are massive undertakings for law enforcement agencies.  President-elect Trump’s is no exception, and news reports suggest that it may pose unique challenges.  In addition to significant numbers of supporters, D.C. Police reportedly are preparing for many thousands of protestors to flock to the nation’s capital for the event.  Keep reading for more news.

Heroin in NC.  WRAL reports that there has been a significant increase in heroin use in North Carolina recently.  Last year, there was an increase of 50% in the number of people calling the state’s alcohol and drug counsel saying they were using the drug.  In addition, Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said that since 2010 the number of people coming into the jail because of heroin or overdoses has increased four-fold.

Pulse Shooting Arrest.  As the Orlando Sentinel reports, FBI agents have arrested Noor Salman, the widow of Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen, based on her involvement in the mass shooting at the Orlando club.  Salman has been charged with obstruction of justice and aiding and abetting a terrorist organization.  According to another report from the Sentinel, Salman knew about Mateen’s plan to attack the club but did not do anything to stop him.

Clemency.  The News Roundup has on several occasions noted President Obama’s aggressive use of the clemency power.  A report from USA Today says that on his final full day in office, Obama set a one-day record by commuting the sentences of 330 federal inmates, bringing the total number of commutations during his term in office to 1,715.

Obama wasn’t the only outgoing executive to grant clemency as he left office.  The News & Observer says that Pat McCrory pardoned six people in his last days as Governor.  The Observer article makes special note of a pardon of innocence granted to Horace Lee Shelton, who spent four years in custody for a crime he did not commit, and a commutation granted to Janet Danahey, who was serving a life sentence for murders based on setting a deadly fire at an apartment complex in a prank gone tragically wrong.

Virginia Execution.  The Richmond Times Dispatch reports that Virginia executed convicted murderer Ricky Gray on Wednesday by lethal injection.  Gray’s execution is reported to be the first in the United States to be carried out using midazolam prepared by a compounding pharmacy.  The News Roundup previously noted that it is becoming increasingly difficult for states to acquire lethal injection drugs.

Help Wanted.  There are two School of Government job openings that may interest blog readers.  First, we’re looking for a part time Civil Law Legal Research Associate.  As the job posting explains, the person who fills the position will do legal research, analysis, and writing, while supporting short- and long-term research needs of SOG faculty.

The other position is a Daily Bulletin Analyst with the SOG’s Legislative Reporting Service.  As the posting for that position explains, the Daily Bulletin Analyst performs independent legal analysis of bills, amendments, committee substitutes, and conference reports during session of the North Carolina General Assembly.

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