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Category Archives: Criminal Defense

Arrested

Newly Proposed Law Would Change Sexual Assault Charges in North Carolina

By Dysart Willis |

According to the Carolina Public Press, less than 25 percent of defendants charged with sexual assault here in North Carolina are actually convicted. In fact, more than 30 percent of all North Carolina counties haven’t had a single conviction in over four years, and for a number of individuals accused of sexual assault, it… Read More »

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Arrested5

Another North Carolina Man Wrongfully Convicted Highlights Problems with Eyewitness Identification System

By Dysart Willis |

In late January, yet another man who was wrongfully convicted in North Carolina was released after being incarcerated for 11 years for armed robbery. The release was one of the latest results of the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission, which has conducted a number of investigations that have resulted in 11 people being exonerated… Read More »

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CrimLaw6

North Carolina Sheriff Decides to End Solitary Confinement for Juveniles, Leading to Reexamination of Human Rights Violations In Criminal System

By Dysart Willis |

In a move that shocked the North Carolina criminal justice community, in January, Mecklenburg County sheriff McFadden announced that the county jail would no longer permit placing 16- and 17-year-olds in solitary confinement because it “strip[s] teens of their dignity” and interferes with the relationships between detention officers and the inmates. According to reports,… Read More »

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DomeViol2

Legislation Expanding Domestic Violence Crimes Signed Into Law

By Dysart Willis |

In late December, legislation broadening what is considered to be a domestic violence crime under the federal criminal code was signed into law in order to increase protections for victims of domestic violence and their pets. The “PAWS” Act not only makes adjustments to key definitions within the federal criminal code, but also establishes… Read More »

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CrimLaw9

U.S. Supreme Court to Hear an Important Case on Criminal Defendant’s Rights in Plea Bargain Appeals

By Dysart Willis |

Guilty pleas play an increasingly large role in our criminal justice system. In fact, according to the U.S. Supreme Court, 97 percent of federal and 94 percent of state prosecutions today end in plea bargains. As a result, there is an increasing number of appeals from guilty pleas and, consequently, an increasing number of… Read More »

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HateCrime

What Is Considered A “Hate Crime” In North Carolina?

By Dysart Willis |

We see news stories covering potential “hate crimes” all the time, some of them involving very serious, egregious crimes, but what constitutes a hate crime, exactly? According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), a hate crime is one that is motivated by biases based on disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, race, religion, or… Read More »

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CrimDef4

Prosecution of North Carolina Mother Who Lost Her Son in Hurricane Raises a Number of Criminal Justice & Civil Rights Concerns

By Dysart Willis |

North Carolina’s recent decision to criminally charge a mother whose child drowned during Hurricane Florence has drawn a number of concerns from criminal defense and civil rights experts, and with good reason. The defendant (who is African-American) was charged with involuntary manslaughter and driving on a closed or unopened highway, and faces a manslaughter… Read More »

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Justice5

November Elections Bring Important Changes to Criminal Justice & Immigration Issues in North Carolina

By Dysart Willis |

November 6 brought a number of important changes around the country when it comes to civil rights and criminal justice issues, and North Carolina was no exception, as we discuss below: Civil Rights & Criminal Justice Advocate Elected to North Carolina Supreme Court In November, Anita Earls—founder of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice… Read More »

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Jail

Famous Author Indicates That Death Row Inmates in North Carolina Did Not Receive a Fair Trial

By Dysart Willis |

The News Observer published an interesting op-ed written by famous author John Grisham on October 11, 2018 concerning serious issues with our criminal defense system here in North Carolina; not just when it comes to sentencing, but when it comes to the most serious penalty available: the death penalty. According to Grisham, there are… Read More »

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Drugs3

Feds Conduct Drug Sweeps of North Carolina Tribal Lands

By Dysart Willis |

On September 27, federal and state officers arrested 76 people on drug trafficking charges on western North Carolina tribal land. In an undercover operation that began weeks ago, the officers served arrest warrants on the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians’ reservation and in nearby communities, reportedly seizing 250 pounds of heroin, methamphetamines, and other… Read More »

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