News Roundup

Yesterday, former President Trump turned himself in at the Fulton County jail in Atlanta to be booked on criminal charges related to his alleged efforts to interfere with and overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. President Trump was in and out of the jail in 20 minutes, during which time he had a mug shot taken. He posted the mug shot on X (formerly Twitter), returning to the platform for the first time in two years. He characterized the prosecutor who brought the charges as a “Radical Left, Lowlife District Attorney.” NBC News has the basics here. I’ll have some more information about some interesting legal issues in the case on Monday. For now, keep reading for more news.

Mug shot strategy. Business Insider has collected all the mug shots taken in the Fulton County election interference cases here. Looking at them together, it is obvious that defendants have widely varying approaches when it comes to mug shots. Some are dressed casually, but most are in business attire. Some, like President Trump, look ready to rumble. Others have a more neutral look, and a few are smiling cheerfully.

Justice Morgan stepping down. Justice Michael Morgan, one of the two Democrats on the state supreme court, has announced that he will step down on September 4. WRAL has the story here. It sounds as though Justice Morgan may be considering a run for governor. Governor Cooper will appoint a replacement for Justice Morgan, with an election for the seat to follow in 2024.

It has been a hot summer here in North Carolina, but . . . it has been even hotter in Texas, where more than two-thirds of the state’s prisons lack air conditioning, according to this Texas Tribune article. The article reports that “[a]t least 41 people have died in stifling, uncooled prisons of either heart-related or unknown causes during Texas’ relentless and record-breaking heat wave this summer.” The Texas Department of Criminal Justice says none of the deaths are heat related but inmates, their families, and their advocates are skeptical of that claim.

Former death row inmate to visit Campbell Law School. According to this news release, next Wednesday, Anthony Ray Hinton will visit Campbell Law School. The release states that “[a]fter being wrongfully convicted of murder, Hinton spent 30 years on death row in Alabama before his release in 2015. Since then, Hinton has been an advocate for criminal justice reform. He travels the world to speak with audiences about his experience of finding life and freedom on death row and about the work he does” with Bryan Stevenson’s Equal Justice Initiative. The event will apparently not be open to the public.

On the lighter side. Why do these things always happen in Florida? Your guess is as good as mine, but we have another “bless his heart” story from the Sunshine State. A Florida man was arrested last week after being caught on surveillance video stuffing $35 worth of bicycle parts under his shirt at Walmart. When officers confronted him, he apparently acknowledged “I’m not good at shoplifting.” No, I guess not. Meanwhile, proving that Florida isn’t completely alone, the New York Post reports here about a man, wanted for a million-dollar fraud, who was caught after creating a profile on the dating site

Comments returning to the blog. Finally, I wanted to mention that with the recent redesign of the blog, we’ve enabled individual blog authors to enable comments on particular posts if they so desire. We’ve previously had a blanket approach, initially allowing comments on all posts and later closing comments entirely, but now our contributors can pick their spots. When comments are enabled, they will require moderation, so it may take some time for them to appear. In keeping with First Amendment principles, authors who allow comments will moderate them in a content-neutral manner. If you have something to say about a post or something to add to the discussion, please consider commenting.

Everyone have a safe and enjoyable weekend, and try to stay cool in the late August heat.