Criminal Defense
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Criminal Defense
Gathering crime-related articles and thoughts together from around the country to consider in defending the accused in criminal cases in North Carolina. Sutton & Lindsay PLLC/Asheville & Durham, NC  www.SuttonLindsay.com
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Proposed constitutional change splits legal community :: WRAL.com

Proposed constitutional change splits legal community :: WRAL.com | Criminal Defense | Scoop.it
Defense lawyers in North Carolina are divided over a constitutional amendment on Tuesday's ballot that would change how some defendants are tried.
Kerry Sutton's insight:
Look at it this way ... Take it out of the abstract: If you were on trial, wouldn't you want to make your own informed choice on whether to proceed with a jury or a judge? I would. www.SuttonLindsay.com
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Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Civil Forfeiture

Did you know police can just take your stuff if they suspect it's involved in a crime? They can! It’s a shady process called “civil asset forfeiture,” and it...
Kerry Sutton's insight:

John Oliver highlights serious topics in a way people connect with. His take on Civil Forfeiture is humorous and maybe not 100% accurate, but it's real. www.SuttonLindsay.com

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How prisons can help inmates live meaningful lives

How prisons can help inmates live meaningful lives | Criminal Defense | Scoop.it
In the United States, the agencies that govern prisons are often called ‘Department of Corrections.’ And yet, their focus is on containing and controlling inmates. Dan Pacholke, Deputy Secretary for the Washington State Department of Corrections, shares a different vision: of prisons that provide humane living conditions as well as opportunities for meaningful work and learning.
Kerry Sutton's insight:

If we're only going to contain inmates and then release them to the same environment they came from, without giving them real tools that can effectively change their post-release circumstances -- education, job skills training, conflict resolution and coping skills -- we can't honestly be shocked when they re-offend. If the level of recidivism we now see as one output of our current prison system is OK with us, let's just call it the Department of Punishment and stop pretending we think there's any "correction" going on. -KWS

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Did a concert crowd record a rape?

Did a concert crowd record a rape? | Criminal Defense | Scoop.it
Video of an alleged assault at a Keith Urban show is now evidence -- but why was it shot?
Kerry Sutton's insight:

This report combines the worst of the "not my problem" witness mindset with the "dangerous and murky intersection of consent and alcohol" with the "everyone can record everything" reality of today for a stunning lack of respect and responsibility.   

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Attorney general asks for NC Supreme Court to keep Durham man in prison - News & Observer

Attorney general asks for NC Supreme Court to keep Durham man in prison - News & Observer | Criminal Defense | Scoop.it

AG asks NC Supreme Court to keep Durham man in prison. Darryl Howard, left, happily shakes hands with Innocence Project attorney James Cooney III, right, as Howard entered Durham Superior Court...

Kerry Sutton's insight:

"When the facts are on your side, argue the facts. When the law is on your side, argue the law. If neither is on your side, pound on the table."

After a careful review of the court documents, it seems Mr. Howard has the facts, the law and the Innocence Project on his side.


The NC Supreme Court will take time to review documents filed yesterday, but has not yet made a decision on Mr. Howard's freedom while he awaits a decision on the State's appeal of the order granting him a new trial. -KWS

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Durham Woman recants Conor Oberst rape story: 'I made up those lies'

Durham Woman recants Conor Oberst rape story: 'I made up those lies' | Criminal Defense | Scoop.it
A woman who accused Bright Eyes singer Conor Oberst of raping her when she was a teenager a decade ago now says she made the story up.
Kerry Sutton's insight:
Illustrating the very reason we should so firmly believe in and be fully supportive of the concept of "innocent until proven guilty" even when it's an unpopular stance on a flashpoint issue. Yes, rape happens. Lies happen too.
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9th Circuit on Appointed Counsel Fees

Complaint about delays in payment for appointed counsel seen by the court as part of a global defense counsel conspiracy to wear down the US Attorney.
Kerry Sutton's insight:
You know things are going South when the judge characterizes your requests to be paid in a timely manner for work you've already done as "extortion." Attorney Grele, we salute you.www.SuttonLindsay.com
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Supreme Court to consider online-threats case

Supreme Court to consider online-threats case | Criminal Defense | Scoop.it
Kerry Sutton's insight:

Offensive rant or serious threat?  


“ ... petitioner posted explicit disclaimers in his profile explaining that his posts were ‘fictitious lyrics,’ and he was ‘only exercising [his] constitutional right to freedom of speech.’ ”

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Accused Durham Craigslist killer was on probation: Attorney Kerry Sutton explains

Accused Durham Craigslist killer was on probation: Attorney Kerry Sutton explains | Criminal Defense | Scoop.it

The man accused of killing a Raleigh teen during a Craigslist robbery was on probation at the time of the homicide, according to court documents.

Kerry Sutton's insight:

North Carolina's statutory sentencing plan punishes repeat offenders convicted of serious crimes more harshly than those with fewer prior convictions who are convicted of less serious offenses. By doing this, we know that similar defendants who are convicted of the same crimes will receive roughly the same sentence from any judge in any county in the state. 


According to the guidelines, Mr. Hood's 2013 assault and kidnapping conviction in Durham probably would have resulted in some or most of an active prison sentence being suspended with him then being placed on an extended period of supervised probation. The same general outcome would likely have been ordered upon his conviction in Superior Court in any North Carolina county.


If convicted of this 2014 1st Degree murder charge, Mr. Hood will be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.


www.SuttonLindsay.com

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What Happens When Police Officers Wear Body Cameras? - WSJ

What Happens When Police Officers Wear Body Cameras? - WSJ | Criminal Defense | Scoop.it

WSJ: What Happens When Police Officers Wear Body Cameras?

Kerry Sutton's insight:

In Rialto, CA, "In the first year after the cameras' introduction, the use of force by officers declined 60%, and citizen complaints against police fell 88%."


Which do you think would better serve your community? An Army surplus urban assault vehicle or a supply of cop cams? -KWS


 

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18 Year Old Salisbury High Student Charged with 1st Degree Rape ...

18 Year Old Salisbury High Student Charged with 1st Degree Rape ... | Criminal Defense | Scoop.it

"The Rowan County Sheriff Office charged a Salisbury High Student on Monday night with first degree rape and indecent liberties with children."

Kerry Sutton's insight:

Too many students do not understand the concept of "consent" and assume rape laws are meant for "old creepy guys in white vans."


If we're going to have mandatory testing in our high schools, we should insist that topics like this are included. -KWS 

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A Federal Judge Just Ruled California's Death Penalty Unconstitutional | Mother Jones

A Federal Judge Just Ruled California's Death Penalty Unconstitutional | Mother Jones | Criminal Defense | Scoop.it

Click here to see the Order in pdf.

Kerry Sutton's insight:

Only 13 of 900+ defendants sentenced to death in CA since 1978 have been executed. US District Judge Carney says "a life sentence with the remote possibility of death" violates the 8th Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.

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VIDEO: California Highway Patrol officer caught on tape beating a woman

VIDEO: California Highway Patrol officer caught on tape beating a woman | Criminal Defense | Scoop.it
A California Highway Patrol officer is being accused of excessive force after cellphone video of him beating a woman who does not appear to resist was uploaded to YouTube
Kerry Sutton's insight:
I may need someone to define "serve & protect" for me.
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Evidence

Evidence | Criminal Defense | Scoop.it
Facts are not up for debate.
Kerry Sutton's insight:
Show me the evidence.
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Paper, pencil are powerful weapons for Wake sheriff's deputy - WRAL.com

Paper, pencil are powerful weapons for Wake sheriff's deputy - WRAL.com | Criminal Defense | Scoop.it

Raleigh, N.C. — Wake County Sheriff's Deputy Mike Mullins is fond of saying that the most powerful weapon he has as a law enforcement officer isn't his gun.

Kerry Sutton's insight:

Would you be able to describe the face of someone you know well enough for an accurate likeness to be drawn from it?

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