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N.C. judges influenced by local lawyers

Ames Alexander of The Charlotte Observer, working with database editor Ted Mellnik, investigated the relationship between lawyers and judges in the North Carolina's judicial district that is most lenient on drinking and driving. "District judges there acquitted suspects in more than 87 percent of the DWI trials in which they rendered a verdict. Statewide, the acquittal rate is 39 percent, state courts data show." One lawyer, John Nobles won 203 straight DWI trials from 2000 to mid-2004. The story also links to in-depth information on the judges, the lawyers and information on how and why the data was analyzed.

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