Court Waited While Defendant’s Competency Evaluated

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Jury selection was complete and opening statements were ready in a Fayetteville courtroom this week when the proceedings came to a temporary standstill. The judge ordered that the mental state of the defendant be evaluated by professionals before the trial got underway. The 32-year-old defendant is accused of assaulting and killing a 5-year-old girl four
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Wake County Deputies Involved in Fatal Shooting of Psych Patient

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What started as a simple transfer to a mental health facility ended in the patient’s death at the hands of Wake County sheriff’s deputies on Easter Sunday. As is standard procedure in any officer-involved shooting, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is looking into the incident. The SBI will deliver its report to the
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What Not to Purge: Evidence That Could Clear Someone’s Name

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The justice system in North Carolina has not been able to keep up with technology. Budget and staff cuts have made it harder if not impossible to preserve evidence from decided criminal cases. Legislative committees have had more pressing issues to deal with, like fixing the State Bureau of Investigation crime lab. Whatever the reason,
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Where There’s Smoke: Can We Predict Wrongful Convictions?

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If you are arrested for a violent crime in North Carolina that you did not commit, what are the chances you will be convicted anyway? A new study funded by the federal government and conducted by university researchers has identified 10 factors that wrongful convictions have in common. The researchers hope that the results will
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Where There’s Smoke: Can We Predict Wrongful Convictions? P2

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We are talking about a study of common factors in erroneous convictions. The researchers looked at data from the years 1980 to 2012 and identified 460 cases that resulted in wrongful convictions, acquittals or dismissals. Their analysis of those cases revealed 10 factors that they believe can predict a wrongful conviction. Several of the factors
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