Law

Law
6:29 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

ACLU Takes On Case Of Idaho Teen In Solitary Confinement

Eldon Samuel III is charged with murdering his father and younger brother in Coeur d’Alene in March.
Kootenai County Sheriff's Office

In north Idaho, a 15-year-old boy sits in an isolated jail cell awaiting trial for murder. Eldon Samuel III is accused of shooting to death his father and younger brother in March

Juveniles accused of crimes like this are automatically charged as adults in Idaho. But now, Samuel’s lawyer and the ACLU are trying to get him moved out of solitary confinement at the adult county jail. They say his isolation amounts to “cruel and unusual” punishment.

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Marijuana
4:33 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Do Homeless People Need A Place To Smoke Pot So They Don't Light Up In Public?

A committee has passed on a proposed ordinance to regulate the sale and distribution of medical marijuana.
Flickr

Of the 82 tickets Seattle police officers issued for public marijuana use in the first six months of this year, 38 of them — nearly half — went to people who were probably homeless.

For Seattle City Council member Nick Licata, that raises a question: Don't the economically-distressed need a place to go to smoke pot legally, without doing so in public?

"What we don't want to create is a situation where we literally are giving citations away to people that are going to end up having their record affected for engaging in activity that otherwise would be legal, except that it's just done outside," Licata said.

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Legal Marijuana
5:00 am
Wed July 23, 2014

New FBI Head In Seattle Encounters Pot Smokers Near Office

While marijuana is legal in Washington, it remains illegal under federal law.

So a recent encounter in front of the Federal Bureau of Investigation offices in Seattle proved a little awkward for the new special agent in charge of the Seattle division.

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Foster Care
4:59 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Judge Sides Again With Wash. Foster Youth

A judge in Bellingham has ordered the state of Washington to do more to locate foster children who run away.

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Washington Supreme Court
1:42 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Wash. Supreme Court Sides With Boyfriend In School Backpack Shooting Case

A Washington man whose loaded gun went off in a school backpack, critically injuring a student can’t be charged with third-degree assault, Washington state Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

The split decision stems from a high-profile case in 2012 in Bremerton.

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Police Reform
5:01 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Seattle Police Finally Get Good Grade On Reform

File image
Natalie Wilkie Flickr

The federal monitor charged with overseeing reform of the Seattle Police Department says there’s finally reason for optimism.

“The glass is now looking half full to me rather than half empty,” Merrick Bobb said during a briefing before the Seattle City Council Public Safety Committee Wednesday.

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Prison System
10:10 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Long Sentences, Aging Inmates May Strain Washington's Clemency

Layers of barbed wire surround Washington's Monroe Correctional Complex.
Justin Steyer KPLU

In just a few years, Washington will need another 1,000 prison beds. There’s been talk of building a new state lock-up, but that would cost hundreds of millions of dollars at a time when the Supreme Court has said school funding must be the priority.

So what’s the solution? Washington could release some older inmates who are serving long sentences. But lawmakers are wary of a political backlash. The state abolished parole in the 1980s.

That leaves clemency as the remaining pressure-relief valve on the prison system. And that system of mercy may not be up to the task.

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Dueling Initiatives
3:54 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Poll: Gun Rights Initiative Losing Support While Background Check Remains Popular

FILE - Supporters Zach Silk, left, and Cheryl Stumbo deliver boxes of petitions for Initiative 594 to the Secretary of State's office Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, in Olympia, Washington.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Support for a gun rights measure on Washington’s fall ballot is flagging, according to a new Elway poll released Tuesday. Meanwhile, a dueling measure that would expand background checks remains popular.

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Legal Rights
2:48 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Is Carrying A Knife A Constitutional Right? Recent Wash. Case Highlights Divide

File image
AP Photo/Transportation Security Administration

Should the constitutional right to bear arms include the right to carry a knife in public? That was the question addressed in a recent Washington state court decision.

The case highlights a growing movement advocating the right to carry knives.

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Washington Supreme Court
4:24 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Washington Supreme Court Says ‘Stop And Frisk’ Went Too Far

Police in Washington can “stop and frisk” individuals they have specific reason to believe may be armed. But if that search goes beyond a “brief and nonintrusive” search, then it’s unconstitutional, according to a finding by the Washington Supreme Court Thursday.

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Law
10:28 am
Thu July 10, 2014

FTC Sues Amazon Over Kids' App Charges

File image
Mark Lennihan AP Photo

The Federal Trade Commission is suing Amazon over charges that the company has not done enough to prevent children from making millions of dollars in unauthorized in-app purchases, according to a complaint filed Thursday in federal court.

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Recreational Marijuana
4:34 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Snapshots: Who Waited In Line To Buy Marijuana, And Why

First in line and first served was Deb Greene, who lined up at 3 p.m. Monday and spent the night outside the store. “It’s just so remarkable because my generation — we never thought we’d see this, ever,” Greene said.
Malcolm Griffes KPLU

Approximately two hundred people waited in line to buy weed at Cannabis City, the first recreational marijuana store to open in Seattle. So we asked them: Why wait in line?

Legal Marijuana
9:28 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Bellingham Store First To Open, Sell Legal Pot In Wash., Seattle Store Follows

Cale Holdsworth, of Abeline, Kan., holds up his purchase after being the first in line to buy legal recreational marijuana at Top Shelf Cannabis, Tuesday, July 8, 2014, in Bellingham, Wash. Holdsworth had been in line since 4:00 a.m.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

The first legal sales of recreational marijuana in Washington state have begun.

Eager customers bought pot at 8 a.m. at Bellingham's Top Shelf Cannabis, one of two stores in the city north of Seattle that started selling marijuana as soon as was allowed under state regulations.

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Legal Marijuana
4:52 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

In Wash. State, Would-Be Customers Eagerly Await Pot Store Openings

Rick Stevens stopped by 420 Carpenter, a marijuana retail location in Lacey, Washington to see if it was open yet.
Austin Jenkins

The first legal marijuana stores in Washington are scheduled to open Tuesday. The Liquor Control Board issued the first 24 retail licenses early Monday.

But state officials warn of high prices and short supply in the beginning. Even so that’s not keeping away some would-be customers.

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Marijuana Businesses
5:00 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Where The First State-Licensed Pot Shops Are, And Why Some Will Wait To Open

Scroll down for the full embedded map, which we are updating as we hear back from licensees.
Map by Malcolm Griffes

Twenty four retailers around Washington state received a special email today, giving them official approval to open their doors and start selling marijuana. The licenses clear the way for the state’s first recreational pot shops to open sometime Tuesday.

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