News Roundup

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Although I have a couple of more scholarly posts ready to go, there have been enough intriguing news stories over the past several days that I couldn’t resist doing another news roundup.

First, returning to a topic I blogged about here, a Texas inmate has just been convicted of having a cell phone in prison . . . and sentenced to 60 years, consecutive to his existing sentence. You can read the story here. It makes S167, the cell-phones-in-prisons legislation that just passed in the North Carolina Senate, available here, seem very, very mild.

Second, returning to a topic I blogged about here, a New Jersey case has resulted in two analyses of breathalyzer source code being conducted — one by the state, and one by the defense. Readers will be shocked to learn that the two analyses reached different conclusions, with the state’s analysis finding that the device, despite some coding problems, “will reliably produce consistent test results,” and the defense’s analysis finding problems so severe that the breathalyzer should be removed from use. The story’s here, but note that the breathalyzer in question is not the same model as the one used in North Carolina — in fact, it’s built by a different company.

Third, in a world full of idle speculation about possible Supreme Court nominees, our own News and Observer has produced some idle speculation about who will be named the next United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina — a job that may be particularly high-profile given the FBI’s current investigation into Governor Easley’s affairs. The story, with the Lord-of-the-Rings-esque headline “One Name Leads All the Rest,” is here, and the suggestion is that Special Superior Court Judge Ripley Rand is the prime contender.

Finally, School of Government faculty members John Rubin and Shea Denning have just published a supplement to the 2005 edition of Punishments for North Carolina Crimes and Motor Vehicle Offenses. You can view it for free, or order a hard copy for your library, here.

3 comments on “News Roundup

  1. Ripley Rand would be an amazing choice — UNC Law Class of 1995! — and I have absolutely no doubt that he would do justice (*groan*) to the Easley investigation.

  2. Good article on the dangers of cell phones in prison in Wired magazine, http://www.wired.com/politics/law/magazine/17-06/ff_prisonphones

  3. I found this to be a fascinating topic. I was curious about searches for cell phones as it applies to seizing them. I have heard of officers physically taking the phones to search them at a later date. Would this not violate exigent circumstance as well as the immediate nature of the searching of cell phones?

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