Law and Order

Law and Order
5:00 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Can Cop-Worn Cameras Restore Faith In New Orleans Police?

Lt. Travis St. Pierre, of the New Orleans Police Department, shows off a body-worn camera during a press conference in January.
Brett Duke The Times-Picayune/Landov

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 1:23 pm

Body-worn video cameras are quickly becoming standard-issue for American police, especially at departments in the process of reform. And in New Orleans, the troubled police department is now requiring almost all officers to wear the cameras.

The city's police department has a dark history of corruption, racism and brutality. The low point may have been the Danziger Bridge episode, after Hurricane Katrina, when police shot unarmed people, then covered up the crime.

These days, the department is trying to rebuild the public's trust — which is where the body cameras come in.

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NPR News Investigations
3:57 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Big Fees For The Big Easy's Poorest Defendants

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 11:23 am

In the next installment of an NPR investigation, Joseph Shapiro goes to New Orleans to look at the ways poor people are charged for their public defender in court.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Law and Order
2:44 am
Wed May 14, 2014

New Orleans Police Hope To 'Win The City Back,' One Kid At A Time

New Orleans police investigate a shooting in February. Though the city's murder rate is down for a second straight year, it's still high compared with other cities.
Michael DeMocker The Times-Picayune/Landov

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 8:25 am

New Orleans is making progress toward losing the "murder capital" label. For a second straight year, homicides declined in the city, in keeping with a nationwide trend.

For African-Americans in the city, though, the numbers are less comforting. Of the nearly 350 killings in the past two years, 91 percent of the victims have been black. It's a cycle that's worrisome to the city's African-American community — and law enforcement.

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Law and Order
10:15 am
Thu May 8, 2014

The Executioner's Lament

Dr. Jay Chapman, pictured here in 2007, developed the original formula for lethal injections with the intention of making executions in the U.S. more humane.
Ben Margot AP

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 1:47 pm

In 1977, death row inmate Gary Mark Gilmore chose to be executed by a firing squad. Gilmore was strapped to a chair at the Utah State Prison, and five officers shot him.

The media circus that ensued prompted a group of lawmakers in nearby Oklahoma to wonder if there might be a better way to handle executions. They approached Dr. Jay Chapman, the state medical examiner at the time, who proposed using three drugs, based loosely on anesthesia procedures at the time: one drug to knock out the inmates, one to relax or paralyze them, and a final drug that would stop their hearts.

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Law and Order
3:02 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

States Swap One Drug For Another, And Botched Executions Follow

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 5:35 pm

Oklahoma's botched execution of Clayton Lockett is prompting other states to question their use of the drug midazolam in lethal injections. The Lockett execution is fueling new calls to re-examine how states put inmates to death.

Law and Order
10:54 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Prayers Before Town Hall Meetings Are Constitutional, High Court Finds

Members of the media camp outside the U.S. Supreme Court in June of 2013.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 12:36 pm

A city council in upstate New York is not violating the Constitution when it opens its meetings with a prayer, the U.S. Supreme Court held Monday with a 5-4 vote.

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Law and Order
6:54 am
Mon May 5, 2014

You Love Pinterest. Find Out Why The Police Do, Too

Pinterest users helped police in Redwood City, Calif., reunite stolen property with its owners.
Pinterest

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 7:20 am

Plenty of people use Pinterest to find things — purses, posh hotels, eggplant parm recipes — but the rightful owner of a charm bracelet stolen 30 years ago? Leave that to the police.

In February, when an officer in Redwood City, Calif., discovered bags of stolen jewelry in the trunk of a car during a routine traffic stop, Detective Dave Stahler turned to social media — in hopes of tracking down the owner of a charm bracelet stamped with names and dates.

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Law and Order
5:23 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

States Struggle To Find An Execution Method That Works

The gurney in the execution chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary is pictured in McAlester, Okla., in 2008. Legal pressures and concerns from European manufacturers have made traditional execution drugs unavailable to states.
AP

States have always struggled to find humane ways to carry out the death penalty. For a generation, they have favored lethal injection, but that method has become increasingly problematic.

It's coming under increased scrutiny following the death of Clayton Lockett, who died Tuesday of a heart attack after writhing visibly during an execution attempt in Oklahoma.

The execution "fell short" of humane standards, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters on Wednesday.

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Law and Order
10:59 am
Wed April 23, 2014

A Path Out Of Prison For Low-Level, Nonviolent Drug Offenders

The new guidelines are part of the Obama administration's effort to address long mandatory minimum sentences. Antwain Black (left) was released early after sentencing laws were first eased in 2010.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 2:44 pm

Thousands of nonviolent drug offenders serving time in federal prison could be eligible to apply for early release under new clemency guidelines announced Wednesday by the Justice Department.

Details of the initiative, which would give President Obama more options under which he could grant clemency to drug offenders serving long prison sentences, were announced by Deputy Attorney General James Cole.

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Law and Order
5:53 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

States Are Spotty In Following High Court Lead On Juvenile Sentencing

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 7:06 pm

The Supreme Court has recently ruled that mandatory life sentences, without parole, for juveniles are unconstitutional, but states have varied in how they've complied with these decisions. Cara Drinan, an associate professor of law at the Catholic University of America, explains more.

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