scharrison's blog

Delays in NC's sexual assault cases stretch into years

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Adding insult to injury for the victims:

Once law enforcement arrests a rape suspect in North Carolina, the wait only begins for both the rape survivor and the accused. Resolution of the charges typically takes more than a year, Carolina Public Press found in June in a statewide analysis of court data, with some cases taking much longer.

The average sexual assault case that remained open and was included in the analysis had been open for 900 days, or about 2 ½ years. But some cases have been open for longer than 4 1/2 years after an arrest, which was the most the data available could show.

Can you imagine that? Being raped by some dude, and then going month after month knowing he's out there somewhere roaming around? If that happened to my daughter I'd probably end up in jail myself, especially after watching something like this happen more than once:

River Wars? Landowner posts "no trespassing" signs across Mills River

It's just like a public road, anybody can use it:

Ray Bryson complained that a private fishing club was limiting access to the river. Eddie Ingle delivered a written statement that said the rope across the river is a “form of harassment, may be dangerous to boaters and technically is a ‘gate.’”

Phil Brittain, a resident who lives at the confluence of the north and south branches of the Mills River and who spoke at the meeting, told CPP that he was “surprised and shocked” by the “no-trespassing” posting. “The river has always been seen to be held in common and has been looked after by the community,” he said.

This reminds me of the (mostly Republican) opposition to Obama's Waters of the U.S. rule expanding the Federal government's oversight of water resources. The main goal of that was to protect water quality by limiting pollution and runoff in areas previously not under control, which of course was viewed as a Big Government Grab (or whatever). But let's set that aside for a minute and look at some ethical issues that frequently come up in local government:

Monday must-read: Barry Yeoman's hog lawsuit essay

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Sometimes you gotta take a stand:

In a federal courtroom in Raleigh, North Carolina, a 14-year-old honor student named Alexandria McKoy swore to tell the truth. Then she settled in to testify against the world’s largest pork producer.

McKoy had traveled 90 miles from Bladen County, part of the flat and farm-heavy coastal plain that covers most of eastern North Carolina. Her family lives on a sandy cul-de-sac that recedes into a driveway flanked by “No Trespassing” signs. Her mother grew up on that land, working in the fields with her sharecropper father and playing in the woods nearby.

These stories are powerful, because they bring the issue to life. There is no better demonstration of the complexity of property rights than the hog farmer vs. neighbor situation, especially when both are multi-generational natives to the area. Here's more:

Judge Baddour should recuse himself from Silent Sham case

Because you can't perform oversight of yourself:

The day before Thanksgiving, the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) filed a lawsuit against the University of North Carolina over the "Silent Sam" Confederate monument that stood on the Chapel Hill campus before it was torn down last year by anti-racist protesters. Seven minutes later, Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour signed an order settling the case and requiring UNC to give $2.5 million to SCV to build a place to house the statue.

Going out on a limb here, because I am not a lawyer, but: The timeline (of lawsuit filed to order signed) raises some pretty big red flags. In order for the Judge's order to have been "well though-out" with all the T's crossed and I's dotted, he would have to have seen the text of the lawsuit before it was filed. And he would have had to be involved in the scheduling (timing) of the filing, so he could be available to sign off a few minutes later. Nothing wrong with that per se, it happens in civil suits from time to time. But it does demonstrate clearly that Judge Baddour was aware of the potentially huge opposition to such a deal, and the need for it to be taken care of quickly with little or no public exposure. And therein lies the problem, and the Judge's possible conflict of interest moving forward. By denying student and faculty intervention in the case, he has also blocked any "on the record" questions about his own involvement. There is no "adversarial" element in this case, no opposing counsel to present evidence, except what the Judge himself deems relevant. And since a reversal of his order would be an admission he made a mistake previously, the likelihood of that (ideal) outcome is small. Justice cannot survive under those constraints, this case needs fresh eyes.

Trump lover drives truck into Impeachment supporters

An unsettling vision of the future:

Police in Jackson County are investigating a video that shows a counter protester slowly driving his truck into a crowd of people marching to support the impeachment of President Donald Trump earlier this week.

About 100 people turned out in Sylva Tuesday evening to march in favor of impeachment. They were standing outside of the Jackson County Democratic headquarters when a truck began honking to pull into the parking lot - directly through the crowd.

This dude needs to be locked up, at least until he can have a mental assessment done. You can't make it out in the photo, but that's a flag with Trump's head superimposed on Rambo's body. First it was Rocky, now it's Rambo. Trump couldn't make it up ten of those Philadelphia Museum steps before collapsing from a massive coronary. Or stroke. Strokonary...

McCrory sez he's not running for Governor

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But he might bring his 3 E's (whatever the hell they are now) to the U.S. Senate in 2022:

Former Gov. Pat McCrory will not seek a return to the governor's mansion this cycle but will "seriously consider" running for the U.S. Senate in two years.

That's when current Sen. Richard Burr plans to retire, leaving an open seat. On his Charlotte-area radio show Thursday morning, McCrory said he considered running for governor but didn't want to contribute to society's division.

Translated: "I'm askeered of Dan Forest's rabid fanbase." Also, I thought you liked stepping on toes? Toe-stepping your way to a more Educated, Efficient...Energetic North Carolina? Yeah, you're right. I'm having way too much fun with this. And now I feel forced to defend Myers Park Pat after reading this from Mark Walker:

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