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Criminal Defense Blog

Majority of Remaining "Moral Monday" Cases to Be Dismissed
Majority of Remaining "Moral Monday" Cases to Be Dismissed Howard Kurtz - 9/19/2014 In 2013, a series of protests that came to be called "Moral Mondays" took place in and around the North Carolina Legislative Building in Raleigh, N.C. As the number of demonstrators grew, the events garnered national attention. Protestors engaged in acts of civil disobedience, and most than 900 people allowed themselves to be arrested inside the Legislative Building. Now, many of the cases that remain active in the Wake County Criminal Justice Center are being dismissed.
Out with the Bad: Termination of Disgraced SBI Analyst Upheld
Out with the Bad: Termination of Disgraced SBI Analyst Upheld Howard Kurtz - 9/12/2014 People expect that those individuals charged with investigating crimes to look at the evidence objectively. After all, to do otherwise might mean that a person is denied due process of law, or even that an innocent person may end up in prison. Unfortunately, employees at the State Bureau of Investigations' Blood Analysis Unit were examining evidence in a biased fashion. The most brazen perpetrator was an analyst named Duane Deaver, who was fired in 2011.
The Long Way Home: Justice Finally Arrives for Two Wrongfully Convicted Men
The Long Way Home: Justice Finally Arrives for Two Wrongfully Convicted Men Howard Kurtz - 9/4/2014 In 1984, two brothers were convicted of the rape and murder of 11 year old Sandra Buie in Robeson County, North Carolina. The case remains one of the most disturbing crimes in modern state history. But after 30 years behind bars, Leon Brown and Henry McCollum were released from prison this week after it was determined that they did not commit the crime for which they were convicted. Here is their story.
Federal Lawsuit Could Mean Big Changes to DMV Medical Evaluation Program
Federal Lawsuit Could Mean Big Changes to DMV Medical Evaluation Program Howard Kurtz - 8/29/2014 When people think of fun activities, a trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles would likely be far down on the list. Dealing with the DMV can be a hassle at the best of times, but most people take comfort in the fact that it is something that they rarely have to do. Unfortunately, disabled people who find themselves enrolled in the DMV's Medical Evaluation Program do not have that luxury. Howard Kurtz explains why that might be changing.
Raleigh Criminal Lawyer Says Circumstances Don’t Always Indicate Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
Raleigh Criminal Lawyer Says Circumstances Don’t Always Indicate Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt Howard Kurtz - 8/29/2014 When two separate crimes occur in similar circumstances, some prosecutors are ready to “jump the gun” (pun intended) and point to the same individual. I guess this is a natural part of human behavior. Fortunately in this country, that is not enough for our criminal justice system.
Underage Drinking: More Trouble Than You Might Expect
Underage Drinking: More Trouble Than You Might Expect Howard Kurtz - 8/22/2014 Although it is widely known that it is illegal for someone younger than 21 years old to purchase alcohol, many people may not be aware that it is also illegal for minors to consume alcohol. Parents may think that because the consumption is occurring within the home and under supervision, everything is OK. Sadly, as one local family has recently found out, this is not the case.
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?