How many people languishing in jails and prisons in North Carolina and nationally are innocent of the crimes they were charged with?
For any of our readers who have ever wondered how focused North Carolina criminal authorities are on systematically identifying and controlling various types of drugs, the state's Controlled Substances Reporting System might be instructive.
As has been widely noted in the media over the past year-plus, a growing national discontent has prominently surfaced regarding long-time American criminal law policies. A legion of critics spanning virtually the entire political spectrum has consistently weighed in with viewpoints that disparage various aspects of the criminal justice system on both the federal and state levels.
A recent news story prominently featuring the North Carolina SBI might logically usher forth this question for many of our readers in Mecklenburg County and elsewhere across the state: What is it?
What North Carolina criminal authorities deem as the most serious drug offenses -- things like trafficking in heroin, cocaine or opium -- are termed as Class G drug felonies.
The revised thinking regarding criminal sentencing of many inmates across the country that is now being realized in a broadly bipartisan way on Capitol Hill is beginning to yield practical and real-world effects in some states.
Truly, what gives here?
Regular readers of our North Carolina blog know that state criminal authorities do not take a soft or compromising stance toward individuals who stand before them charged with drug crimes.
If you just happen to have a strong interest in seeing a beefed-up police presence at public activities, coupled with strong investigatory zeal aimed at making mass arrests, then you wouldn't have wanted to miss the Phish concert in Raleigh last month.
Question: How much time, effort and money will North Carolina law enforcement authorities willingly expend on covert surveillance of a state resident and ultimately charging that individual on a single criminal count of possession with the intent to sell and deliver marijuana?