Archive for March 2014

Griffin Wins Wake GOP Straw Poll

Republican Jefferson Griffin, candidate for District Attorney, won this evening's straw poll at the Wake County Republican Convention, defeating primary opponents Jeff Cruden, John Bryant, and Allen Swaim. Griffin's campaign posted the news: What a great evening at the Wake County Republican Convention! By winning the straw poll, it shows a tremendous amount of support…

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How much Time is Enough Time?

After criticizing reporters for giving exaggerated predictions about possible sentences, I didn't adequately take into account that Jahaad Marshall would be sentenced to the equivalent of “eleventy million years,” or in his case 260 years. Since Jahaad Marshall is not Methuselah, he will end his life with time to serve. His 17-year-old brother Shabar, who…

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Durham’s Choice: A Break from the Past?

Like Raleigh, Durham County is facing its own election for a new elected district attorney. On my way to Guglhupf, a German bakery in Durham, I noticed a lot of signs for Roger Echols. Echols has served as an assistant district attorney in Durham since 2010, and most recently as first assistant district attorney to…

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Conviction Bonuses for Drug Informants

Reporter John Tucker has an important story in Indy Week about a ten year program whereby the Durham Police Department paid bonuses to drug informants who were able to secure convictions. “[T]he D.A.’s office was not aware of any agreement to pay confidential informants at the completion of cases,” said Assistant District Attorney Roger Echols…

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Limited Immunity – Medical Assistance for a Drug Overdose

Each year the legislature modifies criminal laws, sometimes extensively as in 2012 with the Justice Reinvestment Act (see the SOG website for more). 2013 saw fewer changes. A list of all legislative changes to North Carolina criminal law is available here. One of the important changes is the creation of a limited liability for people…

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You’ve Got Time! Reporting on Sentences

UPDATE: More misreporting, this time from WNCN, where we’re told that Jahaad Marshall was sentenced to “more than 40 years in prison,” when in fact it was more than 260 years in prison. One of my pet peeves is incorrect or exaggerated reporting on sentencing. I realize that sentencing schemes can be convoluted, and there…

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Man Pepper Sprays Economics Professor

George Mason University professor Tyler Cowen was pepper sprayed yesterday by a man who barged into his class, jumped on a table and said he was making a “citizen’s arrest.” The man then pepper sprayed Cowen, one of the more prominent professors at GMU, before Cowen ran from the room. An off-duty police officer who…

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Interim Appointment as Wake DA

Multiple sources confirm that a well respected Republican, who is not a candidate, will be appointed as interim acting District Attorney. That person is not currently a member of the office, but is expected to keep the “wheels on the bus” (as one source put it) until after the election. Anxiety has been high within…

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Trial de Novo: Can the State Add Charges?

Which is better: Level 2 DWI or Felony Serious Injury? Let’s assume you are charged with a misdemeanor that could be punished as a felony. For instance, you were driving while impaired and during that offense, injured another person. It’s possible for you to be charged and convicted under the DWI statute – § 20-138.1…

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How Not to Campaign for DA

Former TV Judge Joe Brown, whose show was cancelled last year, was arrested today for contempt of court in a Memphis, Tennessee juvenile courtroom. It was unclear what business Brown had in the courtroom, where he allegedly caused a near “riot” according to the chief magistrate. Brown is running for Shelby County District Attorney, and…

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