The criminal justice system in North Carolina and around the country has been criticized in recent years for the harsh sentences that are often handed down to minority defendants, but an article published in the Seattle Journal for Social Justice suggests that touching on race issues during the early stages of criminal proceedings can lead to a more equitable outcome. The federal public defender who wrote it reached his conclusions after analyzing criminal trials involving Latino defendants.
Some people in North Carolina might be convicted in crimes involving shootings based on blood pattern analysis, but scientists say that people trained in this analysis are not taught with the scientific rigor needed for accuracy. This could result in the conviction of innocent people.
When people are accused of a crime in North Carolina, prosecutors and even judges and juries often rely heavily on the statements and testimony of police. Unfortunately, there have been multiple cases of wrongful convictions related to police misconduct, deception or outright lies during testimony. Advocates for criminal justice reform are urging district attorneys and prosecutors to refuse to work with police with records of lying and other forms of misconduct in order to prevent future wrongful convictions. They are also urging prosecutors to exclude testimony from cops who have made racist or violent statements.
Apps that claim to improve neighborhood safety and vigilance about crime are popular among many people in North Carolina. However, critics say that these apps fail to make a difference in stopping actual crime but can instead stoke racist stereotypes and unnecessary fears. While violent crime is at its lowest in decades across the country, an increasing number of social media apps advertise themselves as promoting crime awareness and safety by publicizing local crime alerts and promoting discussion with fellow nearby users.