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News stories tagged with "law"

Five Omar Mualimm-ak, speaking at St. Lawrence University earlier this month. Photo: Tzintzun Aguilar
Five Omar Mualimm-ak, speaking at St. Lawrence University earlier this month. Photo: Tzintzun Aguilar

Five Mualimm-ak: A voice out of solitary confinement

Last month, the state of New York made sweeping changes to its use of solitary confinement. The new policy, signed by a federal judge, prohibits anyone under the age of 18, women who are pregnant, and people with severe mental illness, from being locked away in solitary.

Five Mualimm-ak helped write the new protocol. He's a prison reform activist. Mualimm-ak spent five years of his life in solitary confinement, out of 12 years he served inside New York prisons on charges that were later overturned. He was in Canton last week for talks and events at St. Lawrence University, and sat down with Martha Foley.  Go to full article
Rotunda, NYS Court of Appeals. Photo: NYS
Rotunda, NYS Court of Appeals. Photo: NYS

NY top judge backs clearing some criminal records

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) New York's top jurist wants to clear old misdemeanors from court records of people who don't get re-arrested for seven years and various non-violent felonies for people who stay out of trouble for a decade.

Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman says research shows the risk of committing new offenses drops steadily with time, and individuals after 10 years without trouble are no more likely than anyone else to get arrested.  Go to full article

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Democrat Nicole Duvé (left) faces a challenge from Republican Mary Rain for St. Lawrence County district attorney. Photos: David Sommerstein
Democrat Nicole Duvé (left) faces a challenge from Republican Mary Rain for St. Lawrence County district attorney. Photos: David Sommerstein

Accusations, but little information, in St. Lawrence DA race

The district attorney race has dominated the election season in St. Lawrence County. Incumbent Democrat Nicole Duvé has run a low-key - you could say, lawyerly - campaign for a third term. Republican challenger Mary Rain, on the other hand, has aggressively attacked Duvé's record and credibility, while calling for change.

Both women have their vulnerabilities. Duvé failed to get convictions on two high profile murders. Rain left her job as the county public defender under mysterious circumstances two years ago.

David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

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St. Lawrence County District Attorney Nicole Duvé speaks to the press Wednesday in the Grand Jury room in the county courthouse building in Canton. Photo: David Sommerstein.
St. Lawrence County District Attorney Nicole Duvé speaks to the press Wednesday in the Grand Jury room in the county courthouse building in Canton. Photo: David Sommerstein.

Duve fights back against DA challenger

St. Lawrence County District Attorney Nicole Duve defended her record yesterday from attacks by her Republican challenger.

Duvé, a Democrat, said former public defender Mary Rain was "misrepresenting" the results of cases. And she said Rain was misunderstanding the subtleties of prosecution.

David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
Mary Rain (right) announces her candidacy at the St. Lawrence County courthouse in Canton. Joining her is Tandy Cyrus, whose son, Garrett Phillips, was murdered in 2011. The crime is still unsolved. Photo: David Sommerstein.
Mary Rain (right) announces her candidacy at the St. Lawrence County courthouse in Canton. Joining her is Tandy Cyrus, whose son, Garrett Phillips, was murdered in 2011. The crime is still unsolved. Photo: David Sommerstein.

Republican DA hopeful launches sharp attacks early

The race for St. Lawrence County District Attorney is on. And yesterday the challenger came out swinging. Republican Mary Rain attacked two-term incumbent Nicole Duvé for failing to bring criminals to trial. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Gun control fight shapes bitter Saratoga sheriff primary

Today's is primary day across New York state. There are big races in New York City and western New York.

One of the biggest contests in our region is the Republican battle for the sheriff post in Saratoga County.

Mike Zurlo, a former sheriff's lieutentnat, had been seen as the Republican frontrunner in that contest. He's been endorsed by the county GOP and by retiring sheriff James Bowen.

But he's faced a stiff challenge from Jeff Gildersleeve, a former state police
investigator who currently works for the Warren County sheriff's department.

Gildersleeve gained momentum after promising not to enforce New York's tough new gun control laws.

Brian Mann reports that the bitter Saratoga primary has emerged part of a wider debate over sheriffs and their response to the SAFE Act.  Go to full article
Cassidy and Hermione. Cassidy says she has to work hard not to obsess about the day her daughter will leave. "You can't get sad about it yet, because everything that you feel they feel." Photo: Natasha Haverty
Cassidy and Hermione. Cassidy says she has to work hard not to obsess about the day her daughter will leave. "You can't get sad about it yet, because everything that you feel they feel." Photo: Natasha Haverty

When should babies stay with their moms in NY prisons?

The number of women in American prisons has gone up 800 percent over the last thirty years, according to the Federal Bureau of Justice. Most of these women are mothers. And about one in twenty of them are pregnant.

Here in New York State, a woman who gives birth while serving time has the chance to stay with her baby in a prison nursery, for up to one year, or eighteen months if the mother is eligible for parole by then.

A Department of Corrections study found that participating in prison nurseries lowers recidivism rates dramatically--cutting the chances of a woman coming back to prison in half.

Researchers say these programs also help the babies, giving them a chance to form secure attachments to their moms.

But in recent years, the numbers of mothers in the prison nurseries have gone down. In our latest installment of the Prison Time Media Project, reporter Natasha Haverty set out to learn why.  Go to full article
Inside the Capitol, twists and turns lead to the passage of many laws. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/54021469@N00/394233312/">Holley St. Germain</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Inside the Capitol, twists and turns lead to the passage of many laws. Photo: Holley St. Germain, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

How the $#%@# does a bill become a law in NYS?

As New York's legislative session wraps up this week, some of the major issues we've been hearing about for the last while remain unresolved, and it's looking like at least some of them aren't going to get resolved in this session.

Of course bills often come together and pass the legislature at the last moment, so what's going to happen in the next couple days is anyone's guess. But how is all of this happening? Turns out it's much more complicated, and less transparent, than what you might remember from Schoolhouse Rock.  Go to full article

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