News Roundup

WRAL reports here on renovations at the State Crime Laboratory. The renovations, supported by a $5 million appropriation, include “a new design for the Drug, Chemistry and Toxicology wing” that allows more space for analysts and scientific work. The idea is to improve workflow and reduce backlogs – a goal on which virtually everyone can agree. Keep reading for more news.

Can a doorbell ring justify a ‘stand your ground’ shooting? That’s the headline of this AP article, which focuses on the Missouri shooting of 16-year-old Ralph Yarl by 84-year-old Andrew Lester. Apparently, Yarl rang Lester’s doorbell at 10 p.m. while erroneously trying to pick up his younger siblings from the wrong house. Lester saw Yarl pulling on the door handle and thought he was trying to break in. No words were spoken before Lester fatally shot Yarl. Without commenting specifically on any particular case, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that no, ringing someone’s doorbell, by itself, isn’t punishable by death.

Manslaughter charges against Baldwin dismissed. The AP reports here that “Prosecutors will dismiss an involuntary manslaughter charge against Alec Baldwin in the fatal 2021 shooting of a cinematographer on the set of the Western film ‘Rust.’” Charges remain pending against the weapons supervisor on the film. Prosecutors stated that “[n]ew facts were revealed that demand further investigation and forensic analysis,” and indicated that the investigation was ongoing and that charges could potentially be re-filed in the future.

Maradona’s medical team to stand trial on criminal charges. ESPN has this story, reporting that “An Argentine appeals court has confirmed that eight health professionals will stand trial over their alleged role in the death of football legend Diego Maradona.” The professionals include a neurosurgeon and a psychiatrist. They are charged with “simple homicide with wanton disregard,” and according to the article “could face between eight and 25 years in jail if found guilty.” The basic issue appears to be whether the medical personnel properly monitored Maradona’s health conditions in the hours leading up to his death.

Drag show bill. Finally, H673 was introduced at the General Assembly this week. It would create a new statute defining “adult live entertainment” to include strippers and “male or female impersonators who provide entertainment that appeals to a prurient interest.” It would prohibit such entertainment from taking place on public property or in the presence of a minor. A violation would be a Class A1 misdemeanor, with a second violation being a felony. I imagine that there might be considerable disagreement about whether any particular male or female impersonator appeals to a prurient interest.