Carolina Public Press reports that Governor Cooper’s administration and the NC NAACP have reached a settlement in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the conditions of confinement in North Carolina prisons during the ongoing pandemic. The report says the settlement provides for the early release of 3,500 people over the next 180 days and notes that the prison population has decreased by about 6,000 people since February of last year. In addition, an anonymous complaint system must be established for incarcerated people to report noncompliance with virus mitigation requirements. Keep reading for more news.
Gymnastics. NPR reports that this week former USA Gymnastics coach John Geddert was charged with multiple crimes in Michigan this week including sexual misconduct and human trafficking and that hours later he was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said that the charges arose from acts of verbal, physical, and sexual abuse against multiple minor victims. Geddert was the head coach of the 2012 U.S. women’s Olympic gymnastics team and had a close relationship with Larry Nassar.
Wake CROs. WRAL reports that the Wake County Board of Education likely will continue an agreement with local law enforcement agencies that places officers in schools as school resource officers. The current agreement will expire soon and some community members have been pressuring the board to consider ending the program because of a disproportionate rate of referrals of non-white students to the juvenile justice system. The WRAL report says that Black students accounted for more than 60 percent of referrals for the past four years.
El Chapo. The US Department of Justice announced this week that the wife of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera was arrested on drug conspiracy charges this week at Dulles International Airport. A DOJ press release alleges that Emma Coronel Aispuro participated in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, and marijuana. It also says that Aispuro was involved in planning Guzman’s escape from a Mexican prison in 2015 and was assisting in planning another escape in connection with Guzman’s re-arrest in 2016. Guzman was extradited to the United States following that arrest.
Virginia Death Penalty. The Associated Press reports that Virginia state lawmakers passed legislation this week that repeals the death penalty in a state that has executed more people than any other in the country’s history. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam is expected to sign the legislation into law, at which point Virginia will become the 23rd state to abolish the death penalty. In a joint statement, Northam, the house speaker, and the senate majority leader said that the death penalty is inequitable, ineffective, and inhumane.
Dog Walker Shot. People magazine says that surveillance video footage captured a violent attack on Lady Gaga’s dog walker where he was shot and Gaga’s two dogs were abducted. The dog walker’s name has not yet been released. Lady Gaga was in Italy at the time and has offered a $500,000 reward for the return of the dogs, Koji and Gustav.