Monday News: Juvenile injustice


"RAISE THE AGE" PANEL BEGINS WORK TO STOP PROSECUTING MINORS AS ADULTS: North Carolina legislators have agreed to stop being the only state that automatically prosecutes 16- and 17-year-olds as adults for crimes in two years. Now a committee charged with ensuring the "raise the age" legislation approved last summer is carried out well is beginning its work. The Juvenile Jurisdiction Advisory Committee scheduled its first meeting for Monday in Raleigh. The panel comprised of law enforcement, prosecutors, advocates for victims and juveniles and others are supposed to develop the plan that increases the age of juvenile jurisdiction for young people charged with misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies. The "raise the age" law directs the change in December 2019.

NC'S RETAIL MERCHANTS UP IN ARMS ABOUT ONLINE LOTTERY SALES: "This is a major shift in policy and strategy for selling lottery tickets that we feel is deserving of a more thorough dialogue amongst the Oversight Committee and the General Assembly as a whole," Retail Merchants Association President Andy Ellen wrote to legislators this week in a letter obtained by the Insider. "Mobile and online gaming will negatively impact brick-and-mortar retailers across the state just like any other e-commerce business. The state and cities risk the loss of sales tax dollars because lottery customers buy more items at the store than those customers who do not play the lottery. Those related sales and tax revenues will be lost as players stay at home to play games on their mobile phone, tablet or other mobile device."

RALEIGH PRIVATE SCHOOL TEACHER FACING MULTIPLE CHARGES OF STATUTORY RAPE OF 14 YEAR-OLD STUDENT: Nicholas Conlon Smith, 36, of Raleigh, was charged last month with 16 felony counts of statutory rape with a 14-year-old student and four counts of sex offense with a student. The alleged crimes happened in 2011 and 2012, when he was a middle school teacher at the Montessori School of Raleigh, according to court documents. Smith was charged this week with first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor in connection with an incident that occurred in August 2011. Smith was being held at the Wake County Justice Center under $3 million bond. He is scheduled to appear in court Monday afternoon.

CONGRESS JOINS TRUMP IN ATTACKING THE FBI AND DOJ: U.S. House Republicans are drafting a contempt of Congress resolution against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray, claiming stonewalling in producing material related to the Russia-Trump probes and other matters. Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes and other committee Republicans, after considering such action for several weeks, decided to move after media including the New York Times reported Saturday on why a top FBI official assigned to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe of Russia-Trump election collusion had been removed from the investigation. Republicans, including the president, pointed to the reports as evidence that the entire probe into Russian meddling has been politically motivated.

PEDOPHILE ROY MOORE TAKES TO A CHURCHES-ONLY CAMPAIGN IN DESPERATION: Appearing at Magnolia Springs Baptist Church in Theodore, located near Mobile in southwest Alabama, the former judge known for his intense opposition to same-sex marriage blamed his political enemies for the allegations. “They’ve done everything. When I say they, who are they? They’re liberals. They don’t want conservative values. They’re the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender. They’re socialists who want to change our way of life, putting man above God and that government is our God. They’re the Washington establishment who simply wants to keep their job,” Moore said. After a heckler interrupted Moore and was hustled out by security, Barbieri jumped up in front of the pulpit where Moore stood. “That’s a man’s man,” Barbieri shouted. “Does that look like the face of a child molester?”