Dispatches from the North Carolina court system: responding to racism in a Buncombe County courtroom
All that separated Reece from freedom was just $300. But he couldn’t afford to post the bond, so on the morning of Jan. 25 he appeared via video, streamed from the Buncombe County Detention Center to the courtroom of Chief District Court Judge James Calvin Hill.
A look back at my first six months reporting on criminal justice and corrections in North Carolina
I’ve gone to a lot of committee hearings over the course of my career. They’re mostly insider baseball, in-the-weeds conversations between policy wonks and department heads. One time, I watched a virtual committee hearing live on YouTube that had one other viewer.
NC Appeals Court moves on voter ID constitutional amendment case
An update to the story published yesterday about lawyers for the state NAACP trying to get the Court of Appeals to move the constitutional amendments case back to Wake County Superior Court. After lawyers for the NAACP petitioned the state Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus – essentially asking the high court to order […]
State NAACP wants the Appeals Court to get moving on the voter ID order
The state Supreme Court decided that a legislature with members from unlawful racially gerrymandered districts don’t automatically have the power to ask voters to change the constitution. The Court sent the issue of constitutional amendments requiring photo ID to vote and capping the state income tax rate back to the trial court to get more […]
Budd defeats Beasley, but expected GOP ‘red wave’ is more of an uneven ripple
Repubs sweeps state appellate courts, but fall just short of veto-proof General Assembly; Dems gain in state US House delegation, while national picture remains undecided -- Full team coverage At the top of the ticket this year, three-term congressman Ted Budd defeated former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley in a close race to determine who replaces retiring Sen. Richard Burr.
Policy Watch interviews NC Supreme Court candidates: Part Two
Two Supreme Court seats are on the ballot this Election Day, offering Republicans the opportunity to flip the state’s highest court. Policy Watch has reached out to each of the four candidates and is publishing their responses from interviews conducted in October. Democrat Lucy Inman and Republican Richard Dietz are squaring off in a race to replace Supreme Court Justice Robin Hudson, who is retiring. Both Inman and Dietz are judges on the North Carolina Court of Appeals.
Dispatches from the North Carolina court system: jury duty in Hoke County
The prospective jurors started arriving after lunch. They walked, single file, through the metal detector at the entrance of the Hoke County Courthouse, past the county sheriff’s deputy to check in with the court staff. Some spelled their names, others asked how long this would all take, but they each walked up the stairs or took the elevator to the old courthouse’s second floor, to report for jury duty in the Superior Court courtroom. Each of the roughly 60 people would be screened by defense attorneys and prosecutors to sit for a jury in a criminal trial that would likely last several days. The defendant was a white man in his 30s accused of driving under the influence and hitting and killing a Fort Bragg solider with his car in 2017.
Dispatches from the North Carolina court system: A family apart
Cases were moving slowly through Courtroom 2A on Monday morning. Several of those whose names were written on a criminal docket pinned to the wall in the lobby grumbled that they had to get a move on. They didn’t want to spend their whole day at the Chatham County Courthouse. The room got quiet when District Court Judge Samantha Cabe called Garima Sinha’s name. Sinha took her place beside her public defender, Melissa A. French, and stood in front of a microphone, her back to what would soon become a rapt audience. Sinha had been charged with assault and battery and injury to real property, both misdemeanors, and assault by strangulation, a felony.
Court brief asks if the average person would consider NC courts unbiased if a son helped decide a case involving his father
Five former chairs of the state Judicial Standards Commission have asked the state Supreme Court to consider how the public will perceive the impartiality of courts if Supreme Court Justices Phil Berger Jr. and Tamara Barringer help decide a high-profile challenge to the state’s voter ID law. Berger Jr.’s father is Senate leader Phil Berger, […]
Cheri Beasley to be installed as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
This afternoon at 2:00pm, Cheri Beasley will be formally installed as the Chief Justice of North Carolina’s Supreme Court. You can watch it live on WRAL or on the Judicial Branch’s Facebook Live. Ahead of today’s historic installation, get to know Beasley a little better by reading Courts and Law reporter Melissa Boughton’s excellent, recent […]