Monthly Archives: March 2013

S316 Pretrial Release/Rebuttable Presumption

Title: Pretrial Release/Rebuttable Presumption

Primary Sponsors: Floyd B. McKissick, Jr., Mike Woodard

Second Edition Text:  

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

AN ACT to provide that a rebuttable presumption exists in certain circumstances that a person charged with a felony or Class A1 misdemeanor offense involving the illegal use, possession, or discharge of a firearm should not be released prior to trial.

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

SECTION 1. G.S. 15A‑533 reads as rewritten:

“§ 15A‑533. Right to pretrial release in capital and noncapital cases.

(a) A defendant charged with any crime, whether capital or noncapital, who is alleged to have committed this crime while still residing in or subsequent to his escape or during an unauthorized absence from involuntary commitment in a mental health facility designated or licensed by the Department of Health and Human Services, and whose commitment is determined to be still valid by the judge or judicial officer authorized to determine pretrial release to be valid, has no right to pretrial release. In lieu of pretrial release, however, the individual shall be returned to the treatment facility in which he was residing at the time of the alleged crime or from which he escaped or absented himself for continuation of his treatment pending the additional proceedings on the criminal offense.

(b) A defendant charged with a noncapital offense must have conditions of pretrial release determined, in accordance with G.S. 15A‑534.

(c) A judge may determine in his discretion whether a defendant charged with a capital offense may be released before trial. If he determines release is warranted, the judge must authorize release of the defendant in accordance with G.S. 15A‑534.

(d) There shall be a rebuttable presumption that no condition of release will reasonably assure the appearance of the person as required and the safety of the community if a judicial official finds the following:

(1) There is reasonable cause to believe that the person committed an offense involving trafficking in a controlled substance;

(2) The drug trafficking offense was committed while the person was on pretrial release for another offense; and

(3) The person has been previously convicted of a Class A through E felony or an offense involving trafficking in a controlled substance and not more than five years has elapsed since the date of conviction or the person’s release from prison for the offense, whichever is later.

(e) There shall be a rebuttable presumption that no condition of release will reasonably assure the appearance of the person as required and the safety of the community, if a judicial official finds the following:

(1) There is reasonable cause to believe that the person committed an offense for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with, any criminal street gang, as defined in G.S. 14‑50.16;

(2) The offense described in subdivision (1) of this subsection was committed while the person was on pretrial release for another offense; and

(3) The person has been previously convicted of an offense described in G.S. 14‑50.16 through G.S. 14‑50.20, and not more than five years has elapsed since the date of conviction or the person’s release for the offense, whichever is later.

(f) There shall be a rebuttable presumption that no condition of release will reasonably assure the appearance of the person as required and the safety of the community, if a judicial official finds there is reasonable cause to believe that the person committed a felony or Class A1 misdemeanor offense involving the illegal use, possession, or discharge of a firearm; and the judicial official also finds any of the following:

(1) The offense was committed while the person was on pretrial release for another felony or Class A1 misdemeanor offense involving the illegal use, possession, or discharge of a firearm.

(2) The person has previously been convicted of a felony or Class A1 misdemeanor offense involving the illegal use, possession, or discharge of a firearm and not more than five years have elapsed since the date of conviction or the person’s release for the offense, whichever is later.

(g) Persons who are considered for bond under the provisions of subsections (d) and (e) (d), (e), and (f) of this section may only be released by a district or superior court judge upon a finding that there is a reasonable assurance that the person will appear and release does not pose an unreasonable risk of harm to the community.”

SECTION 2. G.S. 15A‑534 reads as rewritten:

“§ 15A‑534. Procedure for determining conditions of pretrial release.

(d1) When conditions of pretrial release are being imposed on a defendant who has failed on one or more prior occasions to appear to answer one or more of the charges to which the conditions apply, the judicial official shall at a minimum impose the conditions of pretrial release that are recommended in any order for the arrest of the defendant that was issued for the defendant’s most recent failure to appear. If no conditions are recommended in that order for arrest, the judicial official shall require the execution of a secured appearance bond in an amount at least double the amount of the most recent previous secured or unsecured bond for the charges or, if no bond has yet been required for the charges, in the amount of at least five hundred dollars ($500.00). one thousand dollars ($1,000). The judicial official shall also impose such restrictions on the travel, associations, conduct, or place of abode of the defendant as will assure that the defendant will not again fail to appear. The judicial official shall indicate on the release order that the defendant was arrested or surrendered after failing to appear as required under a prior release order. If the information available to the judicial official indicates that the defendant has failed on two or more prior occasions to appear to answer the charges, the judicial official shall indicate that fact on the release order.

(d3) When conditions of pretrial release are being determined for a defendant who is charged with an offense and the defendant is currently on pretrial release for a prior offense, the judicial official shall require the execution of a secured appearance bond in an amount at least double the amount of the most recent previous secured or unsecured bond for the charges or, if no bond has yet been required for the charges, in the amount of at least one thousand dollars ($1,000).

….”

SECTION 3. This act becomes effective December 1, 2013, and applies to proceedings to determine pretrial release conditions on or after that date.

My take: In this version, the Committe Substitute added a Section 2 which adds conditions for defendants who have skipped out on court appearances before.

In North Carolina, bail is a legal right. As long as you aren’t up on capital charges, you get bail. This bill says you don’t get bail if you’re up on Class A1 Misdemeanor or Felony charges including having illegal use, possession, or discharge of a firearm AND EITHER

  • You were already out on bail for another firearm charge, OR
  • You’ve already been convicted of a Class A1 Misdemeanor or Felony involving the illegal use, possession, or discharge of a firearm.

Sounds good. There have been plenty of people committing murders and attempted murders with guns while out on bail.

My recommendation: SUPPORT

To see all the proposed gun related bills in the NC General Assembly for the 2013-2014 session, Click HERE

Pay Attention to Me, I am GRIEVING!

While looking for MAIG “Day of (stupid) Action” stories, I chanced upon this one from Greensboro.

Fifteen years later, it still hurts for Dana Lee Hines to talk about her daughter’s father.

(Victim) was 27 when he was fatally shot outside a High Point nightclub after an argument in 1998. He left behind a 5-year-old daughter.

That’s horrible! We should pay attention to Ms. Hines because as a Gun Violence Survivor™ she has Absolute Moral Authority™

Let’s see. 27 + 15 = 42, and most of High Point and all of Greensboro are in Guilford County.

Victim

Or it could be that her baby daddy was a jerk who brought his fate upon himself and his death is a symptom of the life he led rather than my choice to own a firearm.

Choose whichever point of view you like.

Blogger crashes MAIG Presser, Durham Herald-Sun covers it

The setup

A trio of Triangle mayors led by Durham’s Bill Bell on Thursday sought to put pressure on U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan to support an expansion of mandated pre-purchase background checks of would-be firearms owners. 

 Quoting me

The mayors at Thursday’s event had to deal with pushback from critics of the potential legislation, particular Sean Sorrentino, a Raleigh blogger who terms himself “pro-choice on self-defense.”

Sorrentino said the prospective background-check legislation would make “me, my wife and my friend into felons” by unduly restricting loans or even momentary transfers of possession of a firearm.

The mayors lie in response

Bell and Kleinschmidt rejected the criticism, Kleinschmidt arguing the bill would only cover sales and ensure that “the people purchasing firearms are not felons or seriously mentally ill.”

This is one of two things. Either the mayors know this is a lie, or they are so ignorant of the law being proposed that they don’t know it covers every transfer. Here’s the law itself

‘(3) For purposes of this subsection, the term ‘transfer’–

‘(A) shall include a sale, gift, loan, return from pawn or consignment, or other disposition; and

‘(B) shall not include temporary possession of the firearm for purposes of examination or evaluation by a prospective transferee while in the presence of the prospective transferee.

Whoops.

So Mayors, which is it? Are you simply ignorant of what the bill says? Or are you lying?

Readers, why don’t you ask them? Here are their email addresses.

[email protected][email protected], [email protected]

Send them a link to this post and ask them which it was. Were they they lying when they said that S649 applies only to sales? Or were they just too ignorant to know better?

You can even hit them on Twitter if you have an account. Just click to send the following tweet to them.

Q: @CityofDurhamNC @MayorMarkK & @JackieHolcombe: Lying about firearm transfers? Or just ignorant? http://bit.ly/XQDAOj 

We should never allow politicians to lie to us unchallenged.

Does anyone know how to fill out 501(c)(3) paperwork?

I am involved with a totally no-political theatrical troupe, and we’re finding that some opportunities would open up to us if we could incorporate ourselves as a non-profit cultural group. It would also let us start begging tax deductible donations. Do you have any idea what good costumes cost? OMG!

I need help with the tax forms and registration as a public charity in North Carolina. If you could help us out (remember, we’re poor!) I’d really appreciate it.

Contact me via email [email protected]

Saturday morning cat (adoption) blogging

And now for something completely different.

Isn’t this a cute cat?

RangerCat

His name is Ranger and he’s sitting in a cage at the PetSmart in Garner, NC. He has a brother, Tank, who’s in the cage with him.

My wife thought he was handsome, so I read their bio cards. They lived for a year with a Marine. When the Marine got deployed, they went to live with that Marine’s father. Then the father ended up having to go into an assisted living facility. They ended up in a shelter in Dunn, NC and got picked up by the Johnston County Animal Protection League.

He’s a cute cat, but my wife is allergic to cats and my dog would eat them. I know you Marines stick together, so are there any Marines out there who could adopt the cat of a brother Marine? If you can give the cat a home, call JCAPL a call at 919-989-7601. And if you can’t take him home, I’ll bet that JCAPL would take a few dollars to help their mission.

Check out their bio pages on PetFinder.com

Tell your Marine friends.

Predators look for the weak

And who is weakest in our society? Women, children, elderly, and the handicapped.

A Leland man remained in custody Monday on charges he assaulted his handicapped neighbor and stole a wallet and coins from him after breaking into the neighbor’s home.

What sort of person “smacked the handicapped tenant in the face” and robs them?

Suspect

He was just release from prison on Halloween.

Gunblogger and friends counterprotest the Raleigh MAIG vigil

After the Durham MAIG press conference yesterday, there was a “candlelight” vigil in Raleigh.

Rallies were held around the country and here in North Carolina Thursday for a National Day to Demand Action following the Newtown tragedy.

A candlelight vigil was held in Raleigh. More than 100 candles were used to represent how many days it has been since the school massacre where so many young children died.

Here’s some video

 

(RSS Readers, click HERE for Video)

 The weepy woman profiled, Kim Erickson Yaman is not, strictly speaking, a gun violence survivor. Here she is in her own words.

I want to point out that although we had no way of knowing at the time, my children and I weren’t necessarily in danger. My children had a Turkish folk dance practice that day in the offices of a faculty member one floor up from the conference room where most of the shootings took place. The children were fine, I was fine, we weren’t in the conference room when Lu Gang came to “solve a problem” he had with losing a dissertation award to a fellow doctoral student.

She laid on the floor and hid in another building and now, 20 years later she’s attacking my rights to own a firearm. In any other case, we’d be doing whatever we could to help a poor woman get over her PTSD. Instead the media and the Left (but I repeat myself) is celebrating it and encouraging her to wallow in it.

The three protesters were me, Josette from GRNC, and Bob Murdock, a retired police officer who I first met at the Durham press conference.

“I think what they’re asking for is ridiculous,” said Garner resident Sean Sorrentino.

It is ridiculous. They want to criminalize me handing a gun to a friend when they know full well that this law will not affect criminals in any way.

But I thought everything was peaceful in Jolly Olde England

They speak with such classy accents, so they must be much more civilized, right?

The murder rate in the UK is either equal to or higher than the murder rate in the US.

WHAT???!!!???

But I thought that their murder rate was incredibly low, and it was all due to the fact that they don’t have any guns there.

I fell into a definitions trap you may not be aware of. The shortest version is this. We count and report crimes based on initial data. The Brits count and report crimes based on the outcome of the investigation and trial. Yep, that says what I meant it to say.

Read the whole thing. He pulls out the data to show that per capita murder and non-negligent homicide in the UK is probably a bit higher than it is here, guns or no guns.

HT: The Smallest Minority

They’ve caught the alleged triggerman

They already had the others, but the police in Durham now have the alleged triggerman.

A third suspect was in police custody Wednesday in connection with a Monday evening shooting in which a teenager was found lying seriously wounded on the side of Briggs Street.

Check out his list of charges at the link.

Suspect

Not surprising, is it.

A pro-gun blogger crashes MAIG’s press conference (*VIDEO*)

UPDATE: Want to “Punch Back Twice as Hard?” Check out this post with email addresses and twitter link to call the mayors out for their deceit.

——————

Today was awesome. I had to be in Durham today, and just this morning I found out that the Durham Mayor, a (Illegal) Mayors Against Illegal Guns was holding a press conference to push for passage of Harry Reid’s anti-gun bill. There’s something really cool about seeing the faces of three Mayors when they realize that they’ve invited a question at a press conference from a political opponent.

Harry Reid’s bill, S649 includes an almost carbon copy of Senator Shumer’s “Fix Gun Checks Act.” That bill would have criminalized something I did last year. My wife wanted to learn to shoot my Ruger 10/22. I took my rifle to a friend’s farm and gave it to him. My wife went up to his farm and he taught her to shoot it safely out on the “back forty.” Then he put it in her truck and she brought it home. He had the rifle for about 4 months. S649 would put all three of us in Federal prison for 5 years each, minimum. I asked the mayors, “How would making me, my wife, and our friend Mike into federal felons keep criminals from selling guns to each other on the streets of Durham, Morrisville, or Chapel Hill?” Here’s the video that they played at 6pm.

(RSS Readers, click HERE to see Video)

 I wish you could see how it went down. It was incredibly fun to mess up their set piece press conference. They had children from a local school, a bunch of the sort of women you’d expect for something like this, and some dorky looking fool in a cheap suit and a bad haircut who claimed to be working for MAIG.

The story that went with this video quoted me pretty extensively.

Not everyone at the Durham event, however, agreed with stricter background checks.

Sean Sorrentino, who runs the site NC Gun Blog, said universal checks won’t work because criminals will still figure out ways to get guns.

“I don’t’ think background checks are anything but one more way to trap citizens and send them to jail when all they want to do is exercise their constitutional rights,” he said.

Sorrentino said he believes much of the proposed federal legislation just hurts law-abiding citizens and that there is a lot of detail that people haven’t considered.

For example, he said, it would be illegal for him to loan a gun to a friend to practice shooting – a felony crime that could land him in federal prison for five years.

“If you can’t be trusted with a firearm, you can’t be trusted without a custodian,” Sorrentino said. “If I can’t hand you a firearm and feel safe, then maybe we ought to consider putting you in a place where you can be taken care of.”

I’m particularly proud of dropping David Codrea’s custodian line on them.

If I see other versions of this video, either on WRAL or on NBC17, who also interviewed me, then I’ll post them.

UPDATE: Check out this post with email addresses and twitter link to call out the mayors for their deceit.