Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

News Roundup – North Carolina Criminal Law

By admin May31,2024

Former President Donald Trump was found guilty of 34 felonies in his “hush money” trial in New York yesterday, making him the first former president in U.S. history to be convicted of a crime. On their second day of deliberations, the jury found that Trump illegally falsified business records to cover up a $130,000 payment to an adult film star before the 2016 election. He could face up to four years in prison and a $5,000 fine for each count and is set to be sentenced on July 11.

Since the verdict was handed down, legal scholars have weighed in on the implications of Trump’s conviction on his potential presidential bid, including whether he would be sentenced to any prison time, whether he could pardon himself as president, and whether or not he would retain any voting rights. Among these hot topics include whether or not his conviction renders him ineligible to serve as president. This article suggests that his convictions won’t stop him from becoming president if the voters put him back in office. While the Constitution imposes some prerequisites for the presidency—those surrounding age, citizenship, and residency—it is silent on the impact of a felony conviction on a president’s ability to serve.

Political deepfaking results in $6 million fine. A few months ago, political consultant Steve Kramer admitted to NBC News that he was behind a robocall impersonating President Joe Biden’s voice. This week, he was indicted on 26 charges in New Hampshire and fined $6 million by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for “scam calls he set up to defraud voters” in violation of a federal Caller ID law. The charges include 13 felony counts of voter suppression and 13 misdemeanor counts of impersonation of a candidate, based on 13 New Hampshire voters who received the calls. The robocall went out to thousands of New Hampshire voters in January, using artificial intelligence technology to deepfake Biden’s voice, telling voters to stay home and “save” their votes for the November general election. It was the first known example of a deepfake’s being used in national American politics and prompted the FCC to put forward a new rule banning unsolicited AI robocalls.

Michigan detective charged with murder after chase. A Michigan police trooper was charged with murder after he was accused of running down a suspect in an unmarked squad car and inflicting fatal injuries during a police chase. NBC News reports that Detective Sergeant Brian Keely and other law enforcement officers were trying to arrest a probation absconder who was wanted on several felony warrants. The absconder was spotted at a gas station and ran away after police approached him. According to the attorney general’s office, the officers gave chase, both in their vehicles and by foot. Keely’s unmarked vehicle turned and struck the victim in a nearby fast-food restaurant parking lot. Keely is charged with one count of second-degree murder, which carries a potential life prison sentence, and one count of involuntary manslaughter, a felony carrying a 15-year sentence.

The Louisiana legislature enacted a new law this week, making it a crime to knowingly or intentionally approach within 25 feet of a police officer who is lawfully engaged in the execution of his official duties and after being ordered to stop approaching or retreat. Anyone convicted under the new law faces up to a $500 fine, up to 60 days in jail or both. Critics of the law contend that it would limit how close a person can be to observe or film police. Proponents argue the new law will create a buffer-zone to help ensure the safety of officers and that bystanders would still be close enough to film police interactions. The law goes into effect on August 1.

“Bad breath rapist” captured after 16 years. A Massachusetts fugitive dubbed the “bad breath rapist” has been arrested in San Francisco more than 16 years after he fled following his conviction for sexually assaulting a coworker in Massachusetts. Tuen Kit Lee was found guilty at a 2007 trial of the kidnapping and rape of the young woman at knifepoint at her home. He went on the run before he was to be sentenced. The case was kept alive in the media, and his photo appeared several times on “America’s Most Wanted.” After images surfaced on social media of a man believed to be Lee, investigators were able to track him down in California.

Going “vroom” while on Zoom. Just when we thought the days of Zoom bloopers were behind us, a Michigan man managed to give the world another chuckle. In a now viral video, Corey Harris can be seen appearing virtually in a court hearing on his suspended license. The catch? He joined the call while driving on said suspended license. The judge, who is visibly (and perhaps rightfully) befuddled, revoked Harris’ bond and instructed him to turn himself into the county jail by that evening.

Another opportunity to join our faculty. The UNC School of Government is seeking a teaching assistant professor to specialize in civil procedure, civil trials, and contested hearings. Take a look at the detailed posting here, spread the word, and apply if you are interested.

By admin

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