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News stories tagged with "law"

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 Duv 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.

Duv, 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 Duv 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
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announcing the Public Trust Act on April 9, 2013. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/governorandrewcuomo/8634605763/">Gov. Cuomo's office</a>
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announcing the Public Trust Act on April 9, 2013. Photo: Gov. Cuomo's office

NYS reform groups say Cuomo corruption plan good 1st step

Government reform groups say they are pleased that Governor Cuomo has now proposed step one in his plan to clean up corruption in state government, after the high-profile arrests of two state lawmakers.  Go to full article
Student crews work on the MQ-9 Reaper at the Hancock field Air National Guard base near Syracuse, NY. Photo: David Sommerstein.
Student crews work on the MQ-9 Reaper at the Hancock field Air National Guard base near Syracuse, NY. Photo: David Sommerstein.

Drones train above North Country Adirondacks

There's been a lot of news lately about the Obama Administration's use of drones, or unmanned military aircraft, to kill alleged terrorists. Critics have said the attacks violate international law and have also killed many civilians. Drones will likely be a major topic in confirmation hearings for John Brennan to be the next head of the CIA.

The drones that fly over Afghanistan are often piloted by people sitting in suburban Syracuse, NY. Those pilots train by flying high over the North Country and the Adirondacks.

They may watch bridges or buildings, even follow cars, without anyone knowing they're being watched. And for some, there's a very fuzzy line between military preparation and a creepy eye in the sky.  Go to full article
Gregory McNeal
Gregory McNeal

Writing the rules for domestic drone use

Drones are smaller, cheaper, and easier to use than ever, and their cameras are more powerful than ever.

In the near future, drones may be used to find criminals, track wildlife, or find a lost hiker in a remote canyon. They could also be used to look in places where we're not used to prying eyes.

Law professor Gregory McNeal studies the legalities of drone use at Pepperdine University in California. McNeal believes local government, not the courts, should lead the way in writing the rules in the drone era.

He says our notions of privacy may differ from what the law says. McNeal told David Sommerstein the Supreme Court has upheld the right of law enforcement to look for wrongdoing from a helicopter or plane.  Go to full article

U.S. defends Mohawk land claim

The U.S. Attorney General's office is defending the St. Regis Mohawks' land claim in its entirety. That's after a judge recommended throwing out most of it last fall.

In a brief filed earlier in November, Assistant Attorney General Ignacia Moreno made two important points about the decades old Mohawk claim to 12,000 acres in St. Lawrence and Franklin counties.  Go to full article
The Hogansburg Triangle is in pink on this map.
The Hogansburg Triangle is in pink on this map.

Judge sustains part of Mohawk land claim

Native tribes' claims to ancestral lands in New York haven't fared so well recently. In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court essentially dismissed the Oneida Nation's land claim, saying too much time had passed since the 18th century treaties the claims are based on. Other courts have followed that ruling with other tribes' land claims.

So this week, when a judge recommended throwing out 85% of the Mohawk land claim in St. Lawrence and Franklin counties, the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe focused on the 15% that has a chance to survive. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

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