Archives

Uncategorized

Kay Hagan is introducing a bill today with her new chum, John McCain, to slash taxes on giant, profitable multi-national corporations. As we noted back in July after her speech to a pro-corporate think tank on the matter, this is the last thing our economy or tax system needs.

This is from that article:

“The bottom line on this matter is pretty simple: Read More

The tornadoes that devastated so much of the region hit Shaw University in downtown Raleigh hard. The 145-year old college closed its doors for the semester due to the widespread damage across campus.

Shaw University founded in 1865

Shaw, which is the oldest black college in the South, played a pivotal role in the civil rights movement. Fifty one years ago last Friday April 15th, Ella Baker persuaded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to invite university students to the Youth Leadership Conference at Shaw on Easter weekend. At this conference, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was born and history was in the making. Read More

Political watchdog Joe Sinsheimer says Attorney General Roy Cooper will have his hands full in restoring the reputation of the State Bureau of Investigation.

On Wednesday, an independent review by two former FBI officials found that analysts at North Carolina’s crime lab omitted, overstated or falsely reported blood evidence in dozens of cases. Here’s an excerpt from the audit:

The factors that contributed to these issues range from poorly crafted policy; lack of objectivity, the absence of clear report writing guidance; inattention to reporting methods that left too much discretion to the individual Analyst: lack of transparency; and ineffective management and oversight of the Forensic Biology Section from 1987 through 2003.

The review comes on the heels of an investigative series by the News & Observer highlighting agents who bent the rules to please prosecutors and laboratory practices out of step with the larger scientific community.

Not only could the findings impact thousands of cases, Sinsheimer believes it could cast a lasting doubt in the minds of some jurors in future cases.

This weekend on “News & Views” Sinsheimer discusses what all of this could mean for NC’s Attorney General and who will likely control the crime lab in the future. For a preview of his interview with Chris Fitzsimon, please click below:

YouTube Preview Image

Click here to read the independent review of the SBI forensic laboratory.

Felipe Matos is among the top 20 community college students in America, but he’s ineligible for financial aid at the top universities that have accepted him. Gaby Pacheco has three education degrees and plans to use music therapy as a teaching tool for autistic children and adults. Brought to the United States at age 2, Carlos Roa wanted to join the military but could not because of his immigration status.

Three months ago, they embarked on Trail of Dreams, a 1,500 mile walk from Miami to Washington.  These students are facing much more than sore feet; several are undocumented, and they risk deportation and detention to share their stories and raise awareness about the need for just immigration reform.

These students exemplify why support is growing for the DREAM Act, federal legislation that would enable students brought to the U.S. at a young age to legally access higher education and financial aid. Every year, 65,000 students graduate U.S. high schools but are denied a college education because of our broken and unjust immigration system.  These students include valedictorians, class presidents and community leaders.  Yet they are refused the opportunity to further their education and give back to America — the country they see as their home.

Just graduating high school can be more challenging for undocumented students than for their peers; they often must learn English as a second language, take care of family responsibilities that their parents cannot manage without understanding English, overcome low socio-economic status and all that that entails, and cope with the psychological trauma of living in fear of deportation.

Trail of Dreams, which made its way through the Triangle last week, is a journey of hope for these students and the 12 million undocumented migrants in the United States.

For more information, check out the Southern Coalition for Social Justice’s Statement of Support.

Reports of inmate abuse are flying fast and furious these days. 

In North Carolina, the sad saga of Timothy Helms has been unfolding for weeks in The News & Observer. It appears guards severely beat Helms, leaving him partially paralyzed. Last week we learned that guards doused the recuperating and wheelchair-bound Helms with pepper spray as he rattled a hospital room door at Central Prison.

In January, the News &Observer reported the allegations of an Anson County inmate that he was drenched with pepper spray and that guards wouldn’t allow him to wash off the burning chemicals or get prompt medical attention.  It’s enough to make one wonder what’s going on inside the prison walls when the media isn’t watching.

Even more troubling is that the state is moving in a direction that could lead to more reports of inmate abuse.  Legislators want to close several prisons and double-cell inmates to save money. At the same time, prison personnel are increasingly frustrated with pay cuts and longer hours. The elimination of popular rehabilitation programs won’t help matters.

A new coalition is organizing to help monitor prison conditions and advocate for the rights of inmates.  NC CURE, which already is looking into a plethora of letters from prisoners, is partnering with the Carolina Justice Policy Center to investigate those allegations even when the media isn’t watching.