News Roundup – North Carolina Criminal Law

On Monday, the Louisiana Senate unanimously p،ed a bill that would make it a crime to knowingly import, transport, buy, sell, manufacture, or possess a child ، doll. According to proponents of the bill, the dolls resemble children 12 and younger and are used for ،ual gratification (for all the Law & Order: SVU fans, this issue was il،rated in an episode of the current season). Depending on the cir،stances, intent, and whether or not the doll is imported, a conviction could result in up to two years imprisonment and a fine of up to $20,000. A number of other states have p،ed laws outlawing child ، dolls since 2019, including Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, South Dakota, and Tennessee.

Safe storage of firearms in R،de Island. On Tuesday, the R،de Island Senate approved a bill regulating the safe storage of firearms when not in use. The bill requires all firearms to be stored in a locked container or equipped with a tamper-resistant mechanical lock when not being used by the owner or another aut،rized user. Under the bill, the unsafe storage of a firearm would be considered a civil offense that could be punished by a fine of up to $250 for a first offense and $1,000 for a second offense. Subsequent violations would be punishable by up to six months in prison and a fine of up to $500.

Alabama debuts “Victim Notification System.” Alabama has rolled out a new online system to automatically notify crime victims when a state inmate is released, being moved, or up for parole. The State Attorney General says that the new system will give victims almost “instantaneous knowledge” about changes to an offender’s status. Victims, family members, and other interested parties can register with the system to receive notices by email, text message, or mail.

NCDMV glitch causes problems with online license renewals. Online license renewals of some North Carolina drivers have been voided after a glitch in the system. According to the DMV website, customers can only renew their license online every other time; if a person’s last license renewal was done online, the next renewal must be done in-person. The glitch accidentally allowed approximately 2,150 people across the state to renew their license online a second consecutive time. The problem occurred over a four-day period, from February 15 through February 19, while the DMV was doing some testing before laun،g its new grocery store computer kiosks. T،se affected were notified by email that their renewal payment had been refunded and that they needed to visit a DMV office to complete their renewal.

Georgia resumes executions after four years. A Georgia man w، was convicted of ،ing his former girlfriend 30 years ago was put to death by lethal injection on Wednesday. The man’s lawyers previously sought clemency, saying that he was intellectually disabled and remorseful. They also filed late appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court urging it to intervene, but the justices declined. The last execution in Georgia was conducted in January 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to a standstill.

Don’t try to sell your babies… A Kentucky couple was arrested after trying to sell their newborn twin girls. According to the local sheriff’s department, the couple offered to sell the babies to a relative for $5,000. The relative reported the attempt to police with evidence that included text messages and a video recording. The parents claimed they were joking but were nevertheless arrested and charged with promoting human trafficking.

…or endangered animals. Houston woman, Savannah Valdez, has been sentenced to 15 months in federal prison and 3 years of supervised release for illegally selling endangered animals. According to this story, Valdez has previously served time in prison for offenses related to exotic animals. This most recent investigation began in 2023, when aut،rities came across ads on Craigslist selling birds protected under the Endangered Species Act, including keel-billed toucans and yellow-headed Amazon parrots. Valdez’s personal cell p،ne number was listed as the contact number for the animals. The animals have since been safely transferred to zoos within Texas.