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Lawyers Ask Panel To Spare Life Of Inmate Set For Execution

Sep 25, 2017
Georgia Department of Corrections

A Georgia prisoner scheduled for execution this week has spent the last 27 years regretting the decisions that led him to kill his sister-in-law as she was on her way to work with his estranged wife, his lawyers said in a clemency application.

Keith Leroy Tharpe, 59, is scheduled to be put to death Tuesday at the state prison in Jackson for the September 1990 shooting death of Jacquelyn Freeman.

Kevin D. Liles / AP Photo

When Georgia Tech student Scout Schultz was killed, the Schultz family said lethal force by officer Tyler Beck could have been avoided. The state of Georgia started to require crisis intervention training for officers in February of 2017.

Accused Leaker Asking Again For Pre-Trial Release From Jail

Sep 25, 2017
Lincoln County Sheriff's Office

Attorneys for a young woman accused of leaking a classified U.S. report want a judge to free her from jail pending trial, arguing prosecutors have added no new charges months after they warned the woman may have stolen additional secrets.

Reality Winner, a former Air Force linguist with a top secret security clearance, worked as a government contractor in Augusta until June, when she was charged with copying a classified report and mailing it to an online news organization.

Police in Oklahoma City on Tuesday night fatally shot a deaf man who they say was advancing toward them with a metal pipe as witnesses yelled that the man was deaf and could not hear them.

It's the fifth officer-involved shooting in the city this year, according to the Oklahoma City Police Department.

Officers were responding to a hit-and-run accident around 8:15 p.m., Capt. Bo Mathews, the police department's public information officer, told reporters Wednesday. A witness of the accident told police a vehicle involved went to a nearby address.

Georgia Wants To Execute Inmates Accused Of Killing Guards

Sep 19, 2017
Bob Andres / Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, Pool

Two inmates accused of killing their guards on a Georgia prison bus three months ago were indicted Tuesday on multiple charges, including murder, and the state plans to seek the death penalty.

A grand jury indicted Donnie Russell Rowe, 44, and Ricky Dubose, 24. Each man faces two counts of murder, two counts of felony murder, one count of escape and one count of hijacking a motor vehicle.

Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit District Attorney Stephen Bradley filed notice with the court Tuesday that he plans to seek the death penalty against both men.

You might know it as a garbage truck.

But to police departments around the country, it has become a cutting-edge tool in law enforcement.

"More and more, we're seeing attacks both in the U.S. and abroad where vehicles are utilized," says Daniel Linskey, a retired Boston Police Department superintendent in chief who now works for a security management firm called Kroll Associates.

He points to the lethal examples of cars running into crowds in Nice, France, in London and in Charlottesville, Va., among many others over the past few years.

Updated 8:35 p.m. ET

The Salt Lake City hospital where a police officer roughly arrested a nurse who was protecting her patient's rights in July will no longer allow law enforcement agents inside its patient care areas. They'll now have to check in rather than enter through the emergency room.

Updated 10:10 p.m. ET

A Utah nurse and her attorney have released video footage showing an officer roughly arresting her at University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City. They say it amounts to assault.

The video shows an officer aggressively handcuffing nurse Alex Wubbels after she refuses to allow him to draw blood from an unconscious patient.

Jessica Gurell / GPB

Getting opioids can be very easy.  Getting rid of them can be very hard. There’s a lot at stake here.  Failure to do dispose of opioids can impacts lives, families, careers­–even the environment.

“These things shouldn’t be treated any differently than a loaded gun that’s sitting around the house,” said Dr. William Jacobs. 

He was a respected anesthesiologist with a successful practice and an idyllic family life but then he succumbed to temptation.

Jessica Gurell / GPB

Georgia is a major distribution hub for everything from food and cars to raw materials like cotton and turpentine. And, increasingly, illegal drugs, including opioids. The interstates and port that attract big business to the state also attracts drug traffickers. 

Dan Salter is the special agent in charge of the Atlanta field office of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. He says that right now they're particularly concerned about fake Percocet pills that caused a spike of recent overdoses in Georgia and across the country.

GPB News/Emily Cureton

In South Georgia’s Wiregrass Country, a plaque in the town of Quitman marks a hanging place. It’s where, in August of 1864, four men were executed for plotting a slave rebellion. Over the next century, mob violence against African-Americans often erupted in South Georgia.

This is where our Senior Editor Don Smith was born and raised. He moved away in 1958. Don recently went back to his hometown to mark the anniversary of the Civil War hanging, and talk with longtime residents about how they remember the county’s history of racial violence. GPB's Emily Cureton reports. 

Jessica Gurell / GPB

Drugs like fentanyl aren’t just creating new risks for human police officers. The dogs who use their powerful noses to sniff out drugs are inhaling the dangerous synthetic opioids as well. So police departments are taking new steps to protect their dogs – and respond if the K-9s get sick.

Normally, it’s a police dog’s job to protect its handler, not the other way around. If you’re a police dog and somebody runs at your human waving a weapon, there’s only one response: you attack.

 

Sam Whitehead / GPB

Georgia’s public college and universities are back in session this week, and there’s a new presence on their campuses: concealed handguns.

Faculty, staff, and students are still trying to navigate exactly where guns will be allowed under the state’s new "campus carry" law.

Police in Finland say the man suspected of going on a stabbing rampage in the city of Turku, killing two people and injuring six others, is an 18-year old Moroccan citizen who was previously known to authorities.

Finland recently rejected his application for asylum, according to the public broadcaster YLE.

mikecogh / Foter

A recent Associated Press investigation found that Georgia is not honoring a U.S. Supreme Court ruling banning life without parole as a sentence for juveniles convicted of homicide and other serious crimes. According to the Georgia Department of Corrections, there are 25 juveniles serving this type of sentence in Georgia right now.

Police in London say they have arrested a 50-year-old man over an incident caught on video in May when a jogger shoved a woman into the path of an oncoming bus. The bus driver swerved, narrowly missing her.

Police forces across Europe are penning whimsical postcards to their most-wanted fugitives this summer in the hopes that increased awareness will lead to more arrests.

The fugitives addressed in "Wish you were here" postcards are accused of serious crimes in 21 European Union countries and are believed to be outside of the countries where they allegedly committed the crimes.

One of the world's most popular police departments on Twitter and Facebook is in Bangalore, India.

And it's all because they took the risk of partnering up with a hip outside consultant.

Kevin Schlot / Flickr/CC

A burglary at a popular music venue in Georgia has rallied prominent musicians to provide a reward.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports Athens-Clarke County police spokesman Sgt. Jim Schultz says the 40 Watt Club in Athens was burglarized in the early hours of Friday. A talent buyer for the club, Velena Vego, says more than $20,000 worth of house equipment was stolen. Vego says the electronic equipment has the club's information engraved.

Black Police Worry Community Relationships Being Undermined

Aug 1, 2017
WCN 24/7 / Flickr/CC

The Trump administration's tough talk on crime and the treatment of suspects has left black police officers worried that efforts to repair the fraught relationship between police and minority communities could be derailed.

It was after 3 a.m. on a Sunday: July 23, 1967. A group of African-Americans were celebrating the return of two Vietnam veterans. They were in what Detroiters call a "blind pig," an after-hours bar, at the corner of 12th Street and Clairmount Avenue. Just before dawn, police raided the bar and began arresting the more than 80 people inside.

Varnell Police Department

The fate of the police department in the small town of Varnell in Whitfield County is suddenly uncertain. Earlier this month, the city council voted to eliminate the department because of costs, with little warning. The mayor ultimately vetoed that move, but the council could override that veto on Tuesday.

A Baltimore man was held in jail for months after police found a stash of drugs — but the officer who found the drugs also seems to be the one who hid them in that spot, according to footage from his body camera. The public defender's office says the man is now free and it is questioning the officer's involvement in 53 active cases.

The officer has been suspended and two of his colleagues are on administrative duty, Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said, as the agency's internal affairs unit looks at the case.

Jury Sees Video Of 'Midnight Rider' Film Crew Fleeing Train Before Crash

Jul 12, 2017
Stephen B. Morton / AP Photo

The civil trial of a railroad company accused of negligence in the 2014 death of a movie worker opened Tuesday with jurors watching video of the film crew fleeing a freight train moments before the fatal crash on a Georgia railroad bridge.

Daniel LaChance

A new book by Emory History Professor Daniel LaChance tackles the changing perception of capital punishment in America. He argues the court trial, the sentencing, and the execution process are all deeply societal events that reflect the public’s relationship with government. Daniel LaChance joins us in studio.

Varnell City Council Votes To Eliminate Police Department

Jul 12, 2017
Wikimedia Commons

The North Georgia city Varnell has voted to disband its police department.

Media outlets report that Varnell Mayor Anthony Hulsey reinstated Police Chief Lyle Grant on Tuesday morning. However, in a special meeting later that day, the city council voted 3-1 to dissolve the police department "effective immediately." This leaves Grant and 10 officers in limbo.

The elimination comes after police say former city council member Sheldon Fowler assaulted police officers. As a result, Grant was put on paid leave for the way he handled the investigation.

Judge: Man Accused Of Threats To Rep. John Lewis’ Staff Is Competent

Jul 12, 2017

A man accused of threatening the staff of U.S. Rep. John Lewis has been deemed competent to stand trial.

A report from the warden at the Federal Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, indicates that Dante Antione Rosser is competent to stand trial and understands the nature of the legal proceedings, U.S. Magistrate Judge Alan Baverman said Tuesday.

Baverman had ordered a mental health evaluation during a hearing in March.

27 Arrested In 4-Day Police Sting Targeting Guns, Felons

Jul 12, 2017
WCN 24/7 / Flickr/CC

The Savannah-Chatham police department conducted a four-day operation targeting illegal guns and convicted felons, netting 27 arrests.

Georgia state agencies have ramped up efforts to crack down on elder abuse, with law enforcement training and a tougher criminal code.

But an underlying anxiety exists among several officials who feel the issue will continue to plague at-risk Georgians until stricter protocols are put in place to track offenses, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Despite a new statewide focus on the issue, Georgia has no elder abuse registry, unlike Tennessee and New Hampshire, two leading states in addressing elder abuse.

Wikipedia

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a case against the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, alleging the company discriminates against older workers by not hiring them in the first place. This leaves in place a ruling from Atlanta’s 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. We discuss the implications with Paul Chichester, an Atlanta-based employment attorney. And Peter Gosselin, contributing reporter for ProPublica.

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