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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Due Process

RALEIGH – The North Carolina Department of Public Safety yesterday announced plans to end the practice of placing youthful offenders in solitary confinement by September 2016. North Carolina is one of two states in the country that still charges 16 and 17 year olds as adults and places them in adult correctional facilities.

As of June 7, there were 67 children under the age of 18 in North Carolina prisons, 16 of which were segregated from the general population in some form of solitary confinement. Earlier this year, the Obama administration announced that it would end the solitary confinement of juveniles in federal prisons.

In 2015, a coalition of human rights organizations sent a letter asking the United States Department of Justice to open an investigation into the use of solitary confinement in North Carolina prisons.

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RALEIGH – A bill that would allow law enforcement agencies to shield officer worn body camera footage from public view unless ordered to release the footage by a court was approved by a North Carolina House committee today. HB 972 was approved by the House Judiciary II Committee and sent to the House Finance Committee. If it is approved by the second committee, the bill could be sent to the House floor for a vote.  

Under HB 972, body camera and dash camera footage would not be a public record. Law enforcement agencies would have the discretion to release footage to people who are recorded, but if the agency denies a request to release the footage, the recorded individual would have to bring a claim in court to attempt to obtain the footage. There would be no mechanism for law enforcement to release videos of public interest to the general public other than through a court order.

Dozens of law enforcement agencies in North Carolina are using or have plans to acquire police body cameras, but many lack policies that allow public access to the recordings.

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ACLU Comment on Raleigh Police Shooting

Posted on in Racial Justice

RALEIGH – The Raleigh Police Department has confirmed an officer-involved shooting near downtown Raleigh today. Reports from the scene say shooting was fatal and the victim is Akiel Denkins, a 24-year-old African American man. The shooting occurred on the same day that the Raleigh City Council was scheduled to discuss the issue of police officer worn body cameras, which the Raleigh Police Department does not yet have, but the item was removed from today’s agenda after the shooting.

“Along with many community members in Raleigh, we are alarmed by these reports, trying to learn more details about what happened, and express our deepest condolences to Akiel’s family,” said Sarah Preston, acting Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of North Carolina. “What we do know is that far too many people of color are victims of wrongful targeting and excessive use of force by law enforcement officers across the country, and North Carolina is not immune to that reality. The public and the victim’s family deserve answers about today’s shooting, and we urge the State Bureau of Investigation and Raleigh Police Department to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation. On a day when the Raleigh City Council was scheduled to discuss officer worn body cameras, this shooting points to the urgent need for North Carolina’s second-largest city’s police department to adopt this crucial technology and an accompanying policy that guarantees it will be used to promote officer accountability and transparency.”   

2016 Paul Green Award Recipient: Darryl Hunt

Posted on in Death Penalty

For many years, the ACLU of North Carolina has recognized people who have made important contributions to abolish or reform the death penalty with the annual Paul Green Award. This year, at the 2016 Liberty Awards Dinner on Saturday, April 2, we are honoring someone who has brought attention to the injustice of the death penalty in an extremely personal way: Darryl Hunt spent 19 years in prison and was almost sentenced to death for a crime he didn't commit.

At 19 years old, Darryl was arrested, charged, and convicted of a 1984 North Carolina murder he didn't commit. Eleven of 12 jurors wanted to sentence him to death, but one refused to waver and he was spared being executed. Although DNA results proved his innocence in 1994, it took another 10 years of legal appeals to exonerate him.

2016 Liberty Awards Dinner: Protecting Democracy
Featuring the Annual Frank Porter Graham Award & keynote speaker Dale Ho, Director of the ACLU's Voting Rights Project
Saturday, April 2 at 5 p.m.
William and Ida Friday Center
100 Friday Center Drive, Chapel Hill, NC
Reserve your early bird tickets today!

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