law and courts | KUOW News and Information

law and courts

Joseph McEnroe
AP Photo/Kevin P. Casey

Both of King County’s death penalty cases are on hold pending appeal to the Washington Supreme Court. A key issue in both cases is whether the defendants have experienced any hardships that should have required prosecutors to be more lenient.

Ric Feld / AP Photo

Yesterday in Olympia the House Judiciary Committee passed a bill that would compensate people who served time in prison for crimes they didn’t commit and were exonerated of. The exonerated people would be given $50,000 for each year spent behind bars. This isn’t the first time this legislation has been proposed but it is the first time that it has bipartisan support. Ross Reynolds takes a closer look at the bill and who it's intended to help.

Washington state is in the process of changing the language in state law to make it more gender neutral. Policemen are now police officers, for instance, and freshmen will become first-year students. Supporters say the change is needed because language matters. Critics say the changes are a waste of money. Ross Reynolds interviews University of Washington Sociolinguist Crispin Thurlow, and we take your phone calls.

Flickr photo/Doran

“Under Washington law, is a consumer entitled to emotional distress damages when a fast-food employee spits in his or her hamburger even though the consumer did not eat the hamburger?” The Washington Supreme Court said Thursday that the answer may be yes.

Rules Of The Road

Jan 16, 2013
Officer John Abraham
Seattle Police Deparment

Are you ever driving down the street and you see something happen in traffic and wonder, is that allowed? Well, today on The Conversation you can get that traffic question answered. Ross Reynolds sits down with Officer John Abraham to answer your questions about passing on the left, rolling through a stop, car pool lanes, tail gating, turn signals and much, much more.

Associated Press

A Washington family is scheduled to return home Saturday with days to spare before a new Russian law bans American families from adopting Russian children.

Sean Green marijuana collective
Amy Radil

Sean Green is the owner of Pacific Northwest Medical, a medical marijuana collective in the city of Shoreline. Today he’s wearing a suit and tie, a vestige of his former career in real estate. Green says he supported Initiative 502, but he’s celebrating legalization by turning off his phones. That’s because he’s gotten so many calls from recreational users who are under the delusion that it’s now legal for Green to sell them marijuana.

A tribal court on the Umatilla Indian Reservation is one of the first to hand-down a long prison term under new tougher criminal sentencing laws enacted by Congress in 2010.

It used to be that tribes could only sentence a Native American criminal to up to one year of jail time -- no matter the crime. Typically the U.S. Justice Department was called in for everything else -– but many cases were dropped.

Now, tribal courts have the power to sentence native criminals who commit crimes on a reservation up to three years per count, for up to nine years.

Cars Caught Speeding On Camera Now Get $189 Tickets

Nov 26, 2012

Starting Monday, drivers who speed past any of four Seattle schools will get tickets in the mail. Vehicles that go more than 20 miles per hour when school is in session are caught on camera.

The four schools with speed cameras are Thurgood Marshall Elementary on the I-90 lid, Gatewood Elementary in West Seattle, and Olympic View Elementary and Broadview Thomson K-8 in the north end.

The Seattle City Council recently passed a new law requiring property inspections on tenant properties.  How will the new law affect you? 

Evan Loeffler is a real estate attorney whose practice emphasizes landlord-tenant relations. He explains the new law and answers your questions about tenants’ rights, landlords’ rights, and how to handle disputes.

US Supreme Court
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Despite their political differences, the young and ambitious Harvard Law graduates and Harvard Law Review alumni President Obama and Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts share many similarities. We talk with Jeffrey Toobin, author of the new book “The Oath: The Obama White House and The Supreme Court,” about the battles and truces between America's judicial and executive branches – from inauguration day to the recent Supreme Court ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act.

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