News Roundup

For me, the biggest recent news is that I broke my finger, had surgery on it, and am now much poorer and all doped up on Percocet. But that might not be such interesting news to you, so check out these recent stories instead:

1. As noted yesterday, the General Assembly is back in session. Among the interesting bills already introduced are:

  • H3, which would effectively remove the statutory exclusionary rule from G.S. 15A-974 and ask “that the North Carolina Supreme Court reconsider, and overrule, its holding in State v. Carter that the good faith exception to the exclusionary rule which exists under federal law does not apply under North Carolina State law.”
  • S3, which is yet another attempt to address electronic sweepstakes, this time by banning all sweepstakes that use a “visual display,” not just those that involve “actual or simulated game play.”

2. The News and Observer reported this past weekend on a proposal “that would allow prosecutors to charge cops with obstructing justice if they knowingly withhold or misrepresent evidence that discovery laws require to be turned over to defendants.”Arguably, this is possible under current law. If you’re aware of an officer actually being charged in connection with a failure to provide discovery, please post a comment.

3. The New York Times reports here that “[t]he sole American manufacturer of an anesthetic widely used in lethal injections said Friday that it would no longer produce the drug, a move likely to delay more executions and force states to adopt new drug combinations.” Apparently, several states are already moving to replace sodium thiopental with a more widely available anesthetic.

4. SCOTUSblog has this interesting post about whether the Supreme Court is poised to reconsider Almendarez-Torres v. United States, in which the Court held that prior convictions may be found by a judge rather than proved to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt, even when they increase a defendant’s potential sentence.

5. Seventh Circuit judge Richard Posner recently published this article in the Yale Law Journal criticizing The Bluebook, the most widely used legal citation manual. It’s a short article, he’s a good writer and The Bluebook is in some ways an easy target, so the piece is fun reading. The gist is that The Bluebook is “a monstrous growth, remote from the functional need for legal citation forms, that serves obscure needs of the legal culture and its student subculture.”

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