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Jeannie Yandel talks with Mary Ellen Stone about a new Seattle Police Department policy to conduct DNA testing on all sexual assault evidence kits. Stone is executive director of the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center. Yandel also talks with KUOW reporter Amy Radil about SPD's new policy.

Christopher Monfort is escorted into the courtroom on the first day of his trial for murdering SPD Officer Timothy Brenton, along with other charges, on Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Opening arguments were heard Tuesday in the trial of Christopher Monfort. He’s accused of killing Seattle Police Officer Timothy Brenton in 2009.

Jurors will have to determine whether they believe Monfort was sane at the time of the shooting.

Monfort was shot and paralyzed during his arrest by police. He uses a wheelchair; court sessions will be shorter than usual to accommodate his medical concerns.

Christopher Monfort is escorted into the courtroom on the first day of his trial for murdering SPD Officer Timothy Brenton, along with other charges, on Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Two death penalty cases kicked off this week in King County Superior Court – both involve an insanity defense to some degree.

In one, Joseph McEnroe is charged with six counts of aggravated murder for teaming up with his girlfriend to kill her family, including two children, in 2007. McEnroe had asked to use the insanity defense, but a trial judge wouldn't allow it. 

In the second trial, Christopher Monfort is saying he wasn't sane when he killed Seattle Police Officer Timothy Brenton in 2009.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson
Wikipedia Photo

Ross Reynolds talks with Washington state's Attorney General Bob Ferguson about his proposal to crack down on "patent trolls."

law court crime
Flickr Photo/Joe Gratz (CC BY-NC-ND)

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson formally weighed in Monday on a federal lawsuit related to immigration. The suit challenges President Obama’s plan to offer legal protections to millions of undocumented immigrants. 

Marcie Sillman talks to Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes about the City Council's consideration of changing the name of the crime "patronizing a prostitute" to "sexual exploitation."

Also, Dr. Melinda Chateauvert, author of "Sex Workers Unite: A History Of The Movement From Stonewall to SlutWalk," explains why she believes the use of the term "sexual exploitation" to describe the crime is wrong. 

In this Nov. 20, 2008, file photo, the execution chamber at the Washington State Penitentiary is shown with the witness gallery behind glass at right, in Walla Walla, Wash.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Sara Lerner speaks with Robert Boruchowitz, one of the lead authors of a new Seattle University study released Wednesday that finds that Washington state cases where the death penalty is pursued cost the justice system a million dollars more on average.

File photo of a hand gun.
Flickr Photo/Zorin Denu (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Opponents of the new measure that expands gun background checks in Washington have filed suit against it.

They're asking a federal judge to block parts of Initiative 594 that involve transfers of guns. That initiative was approved by voters in November.

A municipal court judge in Kirkland, Washington, is mulling whether to dismiss domestic violence charges against U.S. soccer star Hope Solo.

Larry Jametsky and Christina Stewart back at home in SeaTac, Wash., Dec. 2014
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Larry Jametsky lost his home in SeaTac through a “foreclosure rescue” scam. He and his family were homeless for years while his case made its way through the courts.

But last February, the Washington Supreme Court ruled unanimously that his case should be reexamined. Two months later, Jametsky got his house back.

In 2008, Jametsky signed what he thought was a loan, but he’d actually sold his house for a fraction of its value. What he thought were loan payments were in fact rent payments.

Protesters in a march to the federal courthouse on Tuesday, Nov. 25, the day after a grand jury declined to indict Darren Wilson for Michael Brown's death.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Ross Reynolds talks with Lisa Daugaard, policy director for the Public Defender Association in Seattle, about business organizations' petitions for the city to require protesters to get permits first.

Protestors rally Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014 to protest the shooting of Michael Brown, 18, by police in Ferguson, Mo.Protestors rally Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014 to protest the shooting of Michael Brown, 18, by police in Ferguson, Mo.
AP Photo/Sid Hastings

Seattle attorney Jeff Robinson recently addressed a gathering at the University Of Washington School Of Law. It had been just over a week since a Ferguson, Missouri grand jury decided not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown.

Robinson titled his talk "You Can Observe a Lot Just by Watching: The Killing of Michael Brown and the Transparent Grand Jury Investigation." 

Amin Shifow, general manager of Puget Sound Yellow Cab, said he wants to start a hotline for drivers to report harassment and other potential crimes against them.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

A Muslim advocacy group in Seattle is calling on the FBI to look into a possible hate crime against a Somali taxi driver. According to Seattle Police, the attacker reportedly told the driver “you are a terrorist” and “I will shoot you,” then repeatedly punched him in the face.

“The severity of the incident makes this a more serious matter,” said Arsalan Bukhari, executive director of the Council on Islamic-American Relations (CAIR) in Washington state, which is part of a national organization. “The person was attacked by three people who left him bloodied and unconscious.”

In this file photo, King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg talks to reporters at a press conference in 2009.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Ross Reynolds speaks with King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg about why he decided not to bring felony charges against Seattle Police Officer Adley Shepherd.

Shepherd punched Miyekko Durden-Bosley, 23, in the face after she resisted arrest during a domestic violence call. Durden-Bosely sustained multiple fractures to her orbital socket.

A study says that iPhone's Siri program -- which can be used without hands or eyes -- is a huge distraction for drivers.
Flickr Photo/Elizabeth Press (CC-BY-NC-ND)

The Washington Traffic Safety Commission is taking another run at an expanded distracted driving law. A proposed bill is sitting at the governor’s office now. The legislation would expand the current ban on texting or holding a handset to the ear to include touching a mobile device while driving.

Though the proposal addresses more of the ways people are interacting with their devices, it leaves out one major distraction:  Siri.

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