Walter | Indy Week

Member since Jul 11, 2007

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Re: “The Quiet Battle for the N.C. Supreme Court Matters More Than You Think

Bob - Two things:

1) People running for judge are held to the same standard as sitting judges, so Faires and Morgan have equal restraints on what they can say publicly. (The North Carolina Code of Judicial Conduct, Canon 7 restricts the behavior of anyone who is "a judge or a candidate" for judge.)

Also, 2) gerrymandering might be only "arguably" unconstitutional under the US Constitution based on the Voting Rights Act, but gerrymandering is unequivocally unconstitutional based on the NC Constitution when the voting districts are for the NC General Assembly. The NC Constitution says "No county shall be divided in the formation of a representative district" (NC Constitution, Article II, section 5(3)) and there is a similar prohibition against dividing counties for state senator districts (NC Constitution, Article II, section 3(3)). This prohibition is buttressed by the Voting Rights Act and the US Supreme Court, both of which support this non-division clause since for mathematical reasons minority voting power is increased when counties cannot be divided for voting districts. The NC Constitution by this non-division clause outlaws gerrymandering, at least for NC state representatives and state senators. If our judges and legislators followed the law we would have no more gerrymandering for electing people to the general assembly and that could curtail gerrymandering elsewhere.

11 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Walter on 05/20/2016 at 11:38 AM

Re: “Does Wake’s Partnership with ICE Make Immigrant Communities Less Safe?

The undocumented immigrant problem is not so simple that a wall could solve it nor so simple that mass arrests will solve it either. As this article indicates, our present approach to this problem causes additional, avoidable problems, endangering legal citizens as well as the undocumented. Our present approach to the problem promotes harmful criminal activity such as thefts and assaults. We need to change course. We need to prevent rather than promote criminal activity. We should put a higher priority on punishing harmful criminal activity instead of putting a higher priority on arresting people who don't have the required papers.
I remember as a child being amazed and appalled that any country's government would lock people in jail just for not having the proper paperwork. I was and still am proud to be a member of the Land of the Free. I am disappointed that the Land of the Free now locks people in jail for not having the proper paperwork.
Sheriff Harrison said his deputies will arrest people and take them to jail to determine whether they have the proper paperwork. If you are not Latino & left your driver's license at home and had a flat tire, do you think one of Sheriff Harrison's deputies would arrest you and take you to jail to determine if you own the proper paperwork? Not likely. Do you think this arrest-for-not-carrying-proper-paperwork policy is applied based on racial criteria, specifically targeting Latinos? Do you think Latino citizens are reasonably afraid to call on law enforcement to help when those citizens are victims of crimes? Do you think thieves and other harmful criminals are aware that the Sheriff's department by their arrest policy discourages all citizens of Latino origin from reporting thefts and other harmful crimes? Do you think those harmful criminals then target Latinos?
Our approach to this problem needs to change. We could start by not arresting people for simply not carrying the required paperwork. We could make the path to citizenship easier. Unless you are of native American descent, your ancestors did not go through a years-long process to become a citizen. They just came on over (some against their wills). Why not let the path to citizenship be easier for productive, working people who do not commit harmful crimes? By "harmful crimes" I mean crimes against people or property as opposed to crimes of lifestyle, place of birth, or regulatory crimes such as traffic offenses, in other words I mean crimes wherein the perpetrator has violated liberty rather than crimes wherein the perpetrator has not violated liberty.
We can do a far better job at handling this problem than we are currently doing.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Walter on 05/20/2016 at 10:42 AM

Re: “What you need to know about police and body cameras

The police blog you quote supports the fact that some police officers will alter their stories in order to avoid being contradicted by the video evidence. Some police officers are so intent on getting convictions that they will lie on the witness stand even in the face of video evidence of innocence. I'm a criminal defense lawyer in Raleigh. In a recent misdemeanor bench (non-jury) trial the charging officer when shown his own dashboard video evidence contradicting his testimony said "my eye is more accurate than the video camera!" The Wake County judge apparently believed the officer rather than the video & convicted the man charged.
Even with video we have a long way to go before police, prosecutors, and judges will do the right thing.

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Walter on 05/13/2015 at 1:25 PM

Re: “U.S. Supreme Court case tests balance between privacy and law enforcement

It is unreasonable for the police to stop a driver for having only one brake light when the law requires only one brake light. The cocaine should have been suppressed (not been allowed to be used at trial). Otherwise we allow the police to stop anyone for any misunderstanding the police have of the law.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Walter on 10/13/2014 at 3:55 PM

Re: “Wake County DA: rooting for underdogs

I recently received an advertisement in the mail from Boz Zellinger (or his campaign people) which bragged about Zellinger's prosecution and "conviction" of Brad Cooper. The advertisement was not honest: Brad Cooper's conviction was overturned, so Cooper has not been convicted. The lack of honesty reflected in that advertisement reflects a lack of honesty I do not relish dealing with in a District Attorney. We need more honesty in government, not less.

12 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Walter on 04/24/2014 at 5:17 PM

Re: “The best sushi in the Triangle

Please don't lump Cary and Raleigh together. You separated Chapel Hill and Carrboro although those 2 cities are as close as if not closer together than Cary & Raleigh, both geographically and otherwise. People from outside of North Carolina often conflate Durham & Raleigh because of the airport name. That's annoying, but nowhere near as bad as conflating Cary & Raleigh. Don't encourage the conflation. Separate the cities.

1 like, 9 dislikes
Posted by Walter on 10/02/2013 at 2:33 PM

Re: “Re: War with Syria; Franklin Street; Bulls playoff games

I agree with Wally Myers about Syria. We should not go to war in Syria. We should not kill Syrians with bullets and bombs to punish Syrians for killing other Syrians with chemical weapons. If we want to pick a side and aid that side in Syria's civil war we should give economic aid, not go to war.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Walter on 09/18/2013 at 11:18 AM

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