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Author Archives: Submitted Article

Letter To The Editor – Jan. 23, 2012 issue (access required)

Your 9 January 2012 article on the N.C. Bar Association’s Judicial Performance Survey presented remarks by 19B District Court Judge Robert M. Wilkins to the effect that he had no clue why he received an extremely low rating in the survey and that he desired to have more “detailed feedback” so that he could better understand his poor showing. When a judge displays an utter lack of knowledge of the law; when he intentionally leads the public to believe that he is biased in favor of cops and prosecutors; when he grants legal custody of small children to mentally disturbed and incompetent parents...

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Judge stretched doctrine of cy pres “beyond recognition” (access required)

In an article in the Dec. 5 issue (“Legal battle between Charlotte neighbors ends with odd twist”), you reported on the resolution of Irby v. Freese, a suit brought by neighbors to enforce a setback requirement in a restricted subdivision in Charlotte. Originally dismissed for laches, the case was appealed, and the Court of Appeals reversed and remanded for a determination on the merits.

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The costs of repealing the Racial Justice Act (access required)

In 2009, North Carolina passed the Racial Justice Act, a landmark bill to address racial bias in the use of the death penalty. At that time, prosecutors unsuccessfully opposed the bill. They claimed that it was a surreptitious play to end the death penalty and that it would overwhelm and clog up the court system. They also falsely asserted that it would allow murderers to be freed from prison.

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Indigent Services general counsel dismayed by two NCLW articles (access required)

I am writing to express my extreme dismay at the article that Lawyers Weekly published by staff writer Paul Tharp in the May 16, 2011, issue, which was poorly researched at best and misleading in its entirety. The lead article on the front page, "Phony Indigents May Be Draining Defense Funds," is extremely irresponsible journalism that undermines IDS' efforts to obtain adequate funding for indigent defense, something that is the state's constitutional obligation, based solely on anecdotal and unsupported statements of opinion. The article cites Wilmington attorney James McGee as stating that indigent means "destitute" and that most defendants who apply for appointed counsel are not indigent.

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