Tags : courts

Data matching finds felons with N.C. gun permits

Gun control in North Carolina has always been a heated topic.

The massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut and the decision by a suburban New York City newspaper to publish the addresses of local gun permit holders gave both sides of the North Carolina gun control issue ammunition.

And, as usual, much of the battle unfolded in the state’s General Assembly, where lawmakers introduced some two dozen bills related to guns during the 2013-14 session. Of all the bills, one gained particular interest among Charlotte Observer journalists.

North Carolina is one of 12 states with open gun ...

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Don't miss at IRE 2013: Criminal Justice investigations

The 2013 IRE Conference in San Antonio features several panels on criminal justice reporting, including the following sponsored by Criminal Justice Journalists:

  • Criminal justice and guns
    Featuring Gerardo Reyes of Univision, Raquel Rutledge of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and moderator Ted Gest of Criminal Justice Journalists
  • Criminal justice and prisons
    Featuring Scott Henson of the Grits for Breakfast Blog, Kirk Mitchell of The Denver Post, Jessica Pupovac of NPR, Mike Ward of the Austin American-Statesman and moderator Ted Gest of Criminal Justice Journalists.
  • Criminal justice and immigration
    Featuring Alicia Caldwell of The Associated Press, Susan Carroll of the Houston Chronicle ...
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Much judicial secrecy in Consumer Protection Safety Commission case

Two years ago, the federal Consumer Protection Safety Commission launched saferproducts.gov, an online tool for consumers to review complaints and warnings about hazardous products. Since it launched, Fair Warning reports, the first lawsuit by a business attempting to conceal a complaint is "blazing new trails in judicial secrecy."

"Thanks to closed-door hearings, sealed records and a 73-page ruling with large sections blacked out, even the most basic details are concealed. That includes the identity of the plaintiff — known only as “Company Doe” — along with its product and the incident that led to the complaint.

"Adding to the mystery, the ...

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Jail data: Deportations lead to dropped charges

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents deported an illegal immigrant who was a witness in a homicide case, an attorney told me. "Prosecutors are going to drop the charges."

Sure enough, the case crumbled and the U.S. citizen who had been charged with murder was set free. ICE agents had deported the witness after he was arrested on unrelated charges and booked into the county jail, court documents showed.

Local and federal authorities responded by pointing fingers at each other and insisting this was an isolated incident. The problem, a breakdown in communication, had been addressed, they promised ...

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Boot camp lessons used to unlock Oklahoma court secrets

In March, Oklahoma’s Supreme Court published new rules in a legal publication directing state courts to omit more information from their public records including birth dates, addresses, work history, status as a crime victim and medical and financial details. The action came after other court records and proceedings were being moved out of public view, including one that involved a state legislator attempting to keep his divorce proceedings closed. While the new rules from the state’s Supreme Court were suspended after vocal public opposition, the issue of how much is being sealed started to bubble. The anecdotal trend ... Read more ...