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North Carolina Criminal Defense Law Blog

Supreme Court upholds double-jeopardy exception: What it means for Trump associates

However, there is one major exception to the double-jeopardy rule: sovereign governments can each prosecute you for the same crime. If you were convicted of drug trafficking by a foreign country, the U.S. federal government could still prosecute you for the same drug trafficking activity (assuming they had jurisdiction to do so).

Supreme Court upholds double-jeopardy exception: What it means for Trump associates

The double jeopardy clause is one of the foundations of our criminal justice system. The Fifth Amendment guarantees that you can't be prosecuted twice for the same offense. If you're charged with a crime and a jury finds you not guilty, the prosecution doesn't get another shot. Without this protection, the prosecution could simply keep coming after you, and your right to a fair trial would be rendered worthless.

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Federal judge orders swift action to improve conditions among migrant children at border

After dozens of reports came to light about appalling conditions at the southern border, a federal judge in Los Angeles has ordered the government to do something about it.

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The reports paint an appalling picture. Thousands of migrant children - including infants, pregnant young women and nursing mothers - detained in squalid conditions at the southern border, denied basic sanitation, adequate nutrition and access to proper medical care. The conditions have been compared to "torture facilities" and concentration camps, described by one human-rights expert as a "mass atrocity."

Changes may finally be afoot, however. 

Supreme Court: Prosecution's pattern of race-based jury selection is unconstitutional

In a case that spans decades, a black Mississippi man was convicted four times for the 1996 murders of four furniture store employees - three white, one black. Four times, he was sentenced to death.

The problem?

In all four trials - and two others that ended in mistrials - the prosecution struck nearly all black jurors from the jury pool, resulting in heavily white juries. The U.S. Supreme Court recently issued a decision on the sixth trial and conviction, reversing it on the grounds that the prosecution's jury selection tactics were racially motivated and therefore unconstitutional.

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Will New York be the first state to legalize prostitution?

Now that legalized marijuana is slowly but surely marching toward nationwide acceptance, the next potential subject for decriminalization is even more controversial: prostitution.

New York lawmakers recently introduced a bill that would legalize the sex trade across the state. It's the most sweeping attempt to date at legitimizing the sex trade, according to the New York Times. And, predictably, it has ignited heated debate from both sides.

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The coming crossroads for abortion rights in the United States

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A matter of longstanding debate, abortion is back in the news - and it's more divisive than ever. Now that two Trump appointees sit on our nation's highest court, anti-abortion activists (or pro-life, depending on how you look at it) are making a play to get the landmark 1973 decision of Roe v. Wade and its progeny overturned.

A wave of abortion-related legislation is sweeping the country. Red states are taking strong stances, some passing laws that amount to near-total bans on abortion. Meanwhile, blue states are moving to secure abortion rights in their constitutions, shielding them in case Roe gets overturned.

Executive privilege and the Mueller report: A battle of constitutional proportions

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It's been almost a month since the Justice Department released a highly redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's long-awaited report. The report contains official findings on the in-depth investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, including possible links to the Trump campaign, as well as possible obstruction of justice by the president himself.

However, the report has raised more questions - and controversy - than it settled. And the circumstances surrounding its redacted release have fueled backlash among Democrats and pointed criticism by Mueller.

Miranda Mills named NJAC Rising Star in Trial Briefs magazine

Attorney Miranda Mills, a partner at Roberts Law Group, was recently featured as a "rising star" in the April 2019 edition of Trial Briefs, the flagship publication of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice. She was previously featured in the organization's Member Spotlight.

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College admissions scandal takes a dramatic turn: Will Full House's "Aunt Becky" end up behind bars?

In a jaw-dropping scandal that recently took the nation by storm, dozens of wealthy parents were charged with cheating and lying to get their children into top-tier schools. The federal investigation - dubbed "Operation Varsity Blues" - is the most far-reaching college admissions prosecution in national history.

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The Jussie Smollett Saga: Another Case Of A Celebrity Getting Off Easy?

Jussie Smollett, star of Fox's hit series "Empire," claimed he was the victim of a racist, homophobic attack in Chicago on January 29th. After much public outcry and hundreds of hours of investigation, Chicago police determined that the attack had been a publicity stunt arranged by Smollett.

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He was charged with 16 counts of felony disorderly conduct for filing a false police report, all while continuing to deny his involvement. On March 26th, those charges were dropped, and Smollett continued to proclaim his innocence, despite evidence to the contrary.

So what exactly happened?

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