Person/Caswell DA Resigns Following Investigation

Person/Caswell County DA Wallace Bradsher has resigned. His resignation follows a nearly 10 month investigation into alleged theft at his office, as well as the office of prosecutor Craig Blitzer. Craig Blitzer resigned in March. The investigation has been conducted by the State Bureau of Investigation and has been lead by Wake County district attorney Lorrin Freeman. Freeman declined to comment on whether the resignation was part of a plea deal. The investigation involved allegations that in an effort to circumvent laws preventing Bradsher and Blitzer from hiring their own wives, they hired each other’s wives without requiring them to work. Governor Roy Cooper has appointed Jacqueline Perez, an Assistant Attorney General with the North Carolina Department of Justice, to serve as Bradsher’s replacement. Learn more about Bradsher’s resignation here and about Jacqueline Perez here.

Congress Pushes Back of Jeff Sessions’ Regressive Approach to Criminal Justice

Republican Senator Rand Paul and Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy have pledged to fight back against Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ vow to seek the longest possible sentences even for non-violent drug offenses. Paul, Leahy, and Democrat Jeff Merkley have introduced the Justice Safety Valve Act, which would allow federal judges the discretion to give out sentences below the mandatory minimum in some cases. The Senators noted the failure of increasing incarceration to lower crime rates, as well as the extraordinary cost to taxpayers. They also noted the ineffectiveness of Sessions’ approach for treating opioid addiction.

Former Civil Rights Attorney Takes the Lead Towards Becoming Philadelphia’s Next DA

It is possible for prosecutors to be champions of progressive criminal justice reform. Larry Krasner, a former civil rights attorney who has never been a prosecutor, has taken the lead to win the Democratic nomination over several experienced prosecutors and a former city manager. He will run against one Republican candidate in the fall. Krasner is a strong opponent of mass incarceration and the death penalty. He has fought hard against the death penalty while advocating for his clients. In 25 years of defending capital cases, none of his clients have been sent to death row. He seeks to work towards “a criminal justice system that works for everyone” and a “society that builds people up instead of tearing them down.”

 

North Carolina need to identify and support candidates for district attorney who are willing to create a judical system that works for all citizens, like Krasner.

HB 684: Sex Offender Registry Fee

A bill has been introduced in the House which would require sex offenders to pay an initial registration fee of ninety dollars and an annual registration fee of ninety dollars on the anniversary of the initial registration date. The attorney general would recover delinquent fees in a civil action. Fees would be used to offset costs associated with the registration of sex offenders.

NC One Step Closer to Raising the Age

With a 104 to 8 vote, the North Carolina House of Representatives passed the Raise The Age bill.  The Senate now has the bill for consideration. The Senate budget does include policy language supporting Raise The Age legislation, however no funds were allocated in the Senate budget. The recently passed House budget includes both language and funds supporting Raise The Age legislation. This is a major step towards finally raising the age in North Carolina.
The next step for Raise the Age will likely happen during budget negotiations.  The House and the Senate must hash out the differences in their budgets.  It is important that we maintain as much of the original bill as possible, most importantly including low level felonies.  Please reach out to your elected representatives and let them know you want North Carolina to raise the age on all misdemeanors and low level felonies.  North Carolina deserve to get a fair chance in life like the children in every other state in the nation.

Article Examines Myth That Death Penalty Prosecutes “Worst of the Worst”

In an article written by Gretchen Engle, Executive Director of the Center for Death Penalty Litigation, Engle deconstructs the myth that the death penalty punishes the “worst of the worst” offenders. The article explains that instead, death sentences are imposed in the following ways:
  • As part of an era in which more than three-quarters of the 147 people on death row were sentenced. This occurred more than 15 years ago, during which prosecutors were required to seek the death penalty in every first-degree murder case with an aggravating factor. Prosecutors themselves were among those who recommended this law be changed, and it was in 2001.
  • In order to pressure defendants to accept pleas to life sentences

Find the full article at http://www.ncpolicywatch.com/2017/05/15/still-books-still-unjust/