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Criminal Defense Blog

Attack of the Drones: What N.C. Lawmakers Have to Say About Unmanned Aircraft
Attack of the Drones: What N.C. Lawmakers Have to Say About Unmanned Aircraft Howard Kurtz - 8/15/2014 Years of military action in the Middle East has increased Americans' familiarity with unmanned aircraft, more commonly known as drones. Drones possess a wide range of tactical uses, and cheaper versions have even been becoming popular on the consumer market as hobbyists take to the air via remote control. But what does this increased availability mean if the police start to make use of drones?
Drug Culture in the Digital Age
Drug Culture in the Digital Age Howard Kurtz - 8/8/2014 Almost everyone is aware of how profoundly the internet has changed the world as we know it, but most people don't think of the implications beyond their every day lives. Increasingly, the internet is becoming a tool for the buying and selling of illicit narcotics. Every move authorities make to shut down online drug trades are countered by the traffickers themselves. Is this the World Wide Web the Waterloo of the War on Drugs?
How We Treat Mentally Ill Inmates is Just Plain Insanity
How We Treat Mentally Ill Inmates is Just Plain Insanity Howard Kurtz - 8/1/2014 If an individual is not competent to understand the charges against them, they can't be held accountable for their actions. At least once a week, judges in Wake County order that a defendant undergo a mental health evaluation to determine whether they are competent to stand trial. Evaluations are supposed to occur within 7 days, but some inmates end up waiting for much longer. Howard Kurtz discusses how the justice system fails the mentally ill.
Dirty Deeds Done by Durham Police
Dirty Deeds Done by Durham Police Howard Kurtz - 7/25/2014 A Durham police officer made up a phony 911 call to encourage a woman to allow him inside her home. While there, the officer discovered some marijuana and related paraphernalia. A judge later suppressed the evidence, saying that it was the result of an improper entry into the woman's home. How widespread was this tactic, and what does it mean for the Durham Police Department?
Something is Rotten in the County of Durham: The Case of Darryl Howard
Something is Rotten in the County of Durham: The Case of Darryl Howard Howard Kurtz - 7/18/2014 Darryl Howard was convicted of the murders of a Durham, NC mother and daughter in 1995. These convictions were overturned in May of 2014 due to severe prosecutorial misconduct, and a judge ordered that Howard be given a new trial. What went wrong in Howard's original trial, and it this just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Durham County District Attorney's Office? Partner Howard Kurtz expresses his opinion about the latest news on the case.
Underfunded SBI Is a Disgrace to Justice
Underfunded SBI Is a Disgrace to Justice Howard Kurtz - 7/8/2014 As if the SBI Crime Lab didn't have enough problems, it turns out that it is severely underfunded, with too much work and not enough forensic analysts to do it. The backlog of evidence at the Crime lab sometimes leaves defendants waiting months, or even years, for their cases to go to trial. What impact is this having on our court systems?
Raleigh Criminal Lawyer Supports New Law On Medical Use of Marijuana Oil
Raleigh Criminal Lawyer Supports New Law On Medical Use of Marijuana Oil Howard Kurtz - 7/7/2014 North Carolina took its first step in the movement toward recognizing the potential health benefits of marijuana by passing a proposal in June to legalize the use of cannabidiol (CBD) oil for treating epilepsy.
A Raleigh Criminal Lawyer on the High Price of School Safety
A Raleigh Criminal Lawyer on the High Price of School Safety Howard Kurtz - 6/30/2014 As the Wake County school district places an ever-increasing importance on having school resource officers or SROs (i.e., police officers) in the districts high school and middle schools, advocates are alarmed by what they see in schools where police presence has intensified.
Hitting Them With Their Best Shots: N.C. Lawmakers Consider Taking a Swing at Mugshot Websites
Hitting Them With Their Best Shots: N.C. Lawmakers Consider Taking a Swing at Mugshot Websites Howard Kurtz - 6/27/2014 Smiling for the camera may be the last thing on your mind if you are posing for a mug shot, but thanks to websites that publish the photos for profit, it may end up being the most widely seen picture ever taken of you. Even if your case is dismissed, digital publication of mug shots can be a real headache for months or even years after you last appeared in a courtroom. Howard Kurtz reviews proposed legislation by the North Carolina General Assembly to correct these issues.
New Highs for Medical Marijuana Ahead: Federal Government Backing Off on Medical Cannabis Restrictions
New Highs for Medical Marijuana Ahead: Federal Government Backing Off on Medical Cannabis Restrictions Howard Kurtz - 6/20/2014 For decades, patients with illnesses ranging from cancer to Parkinson's have been using marijuana as part of their health regimen. Long considered to be almost exclusively a recreational drug, cannabis is gaining popularity among the medical community, and lawmakers at the state and federal level are taking note. The War on Marijuana seems to be slowly drawing to a close.