Law and Order

Law and Order
7:03 am
Sat July 12, 2014

What We Talk About When We Talk About Violence In Chicago

Firefighters in Chicago hose down the scene of a shooting last fall where several people, including a toddler, were shot.
Paul Beaty ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Sat July 12, 2014 10:28 am

We have a default template for the way we process mass shootings. We scour through every available scrap of the perpetrators' interior lives – Facebook postings, YouTube videos, interviews with former roommates — to try to find out what drove them to kill. The sites of the massacres become a kind of shorthand: Columbine, Sandy Hook, Fort Hood. We conduct protracted, unsatisfying conversations about gun rights, and about mental illness, and about how we have to make sure that they never happen again.

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Law and Order
3:11 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Corruption Convictions Spell 10 Year Sentence For Former NOLA Mayor

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 9:39 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

A federal judge has sentenced former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin to 10 years in prison for corruption conviction. The sentence was lighter than what prosecutors were seeking for the former two-term Democrat. NPR's Debbie Elliott covered Nagin's trial earlier this year, and she joins us now to talk about today's sentencing. Debbie, first remind us of what Ray Nagin was convicted of back in February.

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Law and Order
2:58 am
Wed July 9, 2014

States Push For Prison Sentence Overhaul; Prosecutors Push Back

The Lafayette Parish Correctional Center in downtown Lafayette, La. By most counts, Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the country, but sentencing reformers have loosened some of the state's mandatory minimum sentences and made parole slightly easier to get.
Denny Culbert for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 7:01 am

Some red states like Louisiana and Texas have emerged as leaders in a new movement: to divert offenders from prisons and into drug treatment, work release and other incarceration alternatives.

By most counts, Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the country. In recent years, sentencing reformers in the capital, Baton Rouge, have loosened some mandatory minimum sentences and have made parole slightly easier for offenders to get.

But as reformers in Louisiana push for change, they're also running into stiffening resistance — especially from local prosecutors.

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Law and Order
2:33 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Gay Teacher Files Sex Discrimination Claim Against Georgia School

Flint Dollar practices organ at First Presbyterian Church in Milledgeville, Ga. He's working there part time while he pursues a legal complaint against a private Catholic school that declined to renew his position after administrators learned he plans to marry his male partner.
Adam Ragusea Georgia Public Broadcasting

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 10:16 am

For the past four years, Flint Dollar has been teaching music at Mount de Sales Academy, a Catholic school in Macon, Ga. He is, by all accounts, beloved by his students.

But Dollar won't be leading the band or teaching the chorus in the fall. His contract was not renewed after administrators found out he plans to marry a man.

Under federal anti-discrimination laws, employers are not prohibited from hiring or firing people on the basis of sexual orientation. Dollar is working to change that.

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Law and Order
3:38 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

High Court Allows Some Companies To Opt Out Of Contraceptives Mandate

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 6:07 pm

For the first time, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a for-profit corporation can refuse to comply with a general government mandate because doing so would violate the corporation's asserted religious beliefs.

By a 5-4 vote, the court struck an important part of President Obama's health care law — the requirement that all insurance plans cover birth control — because it conflicted with a corporation owners' religious beliefs.

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Law and Order
3:44 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

High Court Ruling Sends Abortion Clinics Scrambling To Adjust

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 6:10 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Let's go now to Massachusetts where staffs at abortion clinics are scrambling to adjust their plans after that ruling. From Boston, NPR's Tovia Smith reports.

TOVIA SMITH, BYLINE: The rules of the game have changed, as one abortion-rights activist put it, and protesters agree on that point. Ray Neery, who's been demonstrating outside Boston-area clinics for years, says he can do a better job now inside the 35 foot buffer zone than he could from the outside.

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Law and Order
7:01 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Is A Threat On Facebook Real? Supreme Court Will Weigh In

The Supreme Court will look at a case in its upcoming session dealing with what constitutes a "true threat" on Facebook.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat June 21, 2014 9:48 am

This week, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of a man on Facebook who threatened to kill his wife.

In 2010, Pennsylvania resident Anthony Elonis got dumped, lost his job and expressed his frustrations via the Internet.

"He took to Facebook as a form of, what he says, a form of therapy," says criminologist Rob D'Ovidio of Drexel University, who is following the case.

Is It A 'True Threat'?

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Law and Order
11:49 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Kids In Juvenile Detention Face Risk Of Violent Death As Adults

Girls who were arrested and detained were at particular risk for premature death in adulthood.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 8:24 am

Delinquent children are much more likely than their nondelinquent peers to die violently later in life, a study finds. And girls who ended up in juvenile detention were especially vulnerable, dying at nearly five times the rate of the general population.

"This was astonishing," says Linda Teplin, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University's medical school and the lead author of the study.

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Law and Order
5:17 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Supreme Court Rules Against Gun 'Straw Purchases'

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 2:59 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court delivered a major victory to gun control advocates on Monday. The 5-4 ruling allows strict enforcement of the federal ban on gun "straw purchases," or one person buying a gun for another.

The federal law on background checks requires federally licensed gun dealers to verify the identity of buyers and submit their names to a federal database to weed out felons, those with a history of mental illness and others barred from gun ownership.

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Law and Order
5:43 pm
Sun June 8, 2014

When A Parent Goes To Prison, A Child Also Pays A Price

Ifetayo Harvey's father went to prison when she was 4 years old and released when she was 12. Now 22, she says the experience helped her empathize with others and understand people from a different perspective.
Courtesy of Ifetayo Harvey

When she was a child, 22-year-old Ifetayo Harvey's father was sentenced to prison for cocaine trafficking.

"My dad went to prison when I was 4 years old, and he was released when I was 12," Harvey says.

Harvey is one of millions of young people who grew up with a parent in prison. A recent study from the National Academy of Sciences examined the growth of incarceration in the United States, and among the topics was the effect on kids and families when a parent goes to prison.

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