Law

Civil Rights
8:56 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Seattle Civil Rights Leader Honored With Street Sign

Reverend Sam McKinney
Ashley Gross

A street in Seattle’s central area has been named Reverend Dr. S. McKinney Avenue, for the local civil rights leader.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray signed an ordinance  Wednesday, February 12, designating 19th Avenue, from East Union to East Madison Street, Reverend Dr. S. McKinney Avenue.

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Death Penalty
10:40 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Gov. Suspends Death Penalty In Wash. State

Gov. Jay Inslee announces Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, that he is suspending the use of the death penalty in Washington state during a news conference in Olympia, Wash.
Rachel La Corte AP Photo

No one will be executed in the state of Washington as long as Gov. Jay Inslee is in office, the governor said Tuesday.

"Equal justice under the law is the primary responsibility of our state. And in death penalty cases, I am not convinced equal justice is being served," Inslee said.

The governor, who previously supported the death penalty, said he decided to issue the moratorium after a months-long review of strong arguments on both sides of the issue, as well as a visit to the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla where nine inmates are currently on death row. But Inslee said his decision wasn’t based on just those nine people.

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Poverty
7:55 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Court-Ordered Fines Result In Modern-Day Debtors' Prisons, Says ACLU

Valerie Bodeau, who was homeless at the time, was jailed for missing payments on $7000 court ordered fines.
Paula Wissel

A report from the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington and Columbia Legal Services claims court imposed fees in Washington state have resulted in modern-day debtors’ prisons.

The report documents cases of people being locked up because they couldn't make payments on their fines.

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Tribal Law
4:41 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Pilot Program To Give Tulalip Tribes Legal Jurisdiction Over Non-Indians

FILE - Deborah Parker, vice chairwoman of the Tulalip Tribes of Washington State, center, gestures before President Barack Obama before he signed the Violence Against Women Act, Thursday, March 7, 2013.
Susan Walsh AP Photo

The Tulalip Tribes will be among the first Indian tribes in the country to have criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians who commit domestic violence on the reservation.

The Snohomish County tribe, along with the Umatilla in Oregon and the Pascua Yaqui of Arizona, have been granted the authority under a pilot program of the Violence Against Women Act.

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Faith Healing
1:57 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Faith Healing Exemption Gets Scrutiny In Wash. Legislature

<< Jonny Boy >> Flickr

Christian Scientists who treat their sick children with faith healing instead of medical care have special protection under Washington law. But that could soon change.

Lawmakers are considering whether to repeal the Christian Science exemption following the death of a teenager in north-central Washington.

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Amanda Knox
6:43 pm
Sat February 1, 2014

Knox Case Could Put U.S. In An Extradition Quandary

Amanda Knox waits on the set of ABC's Good Morning America on Friday in New York.
Mark Lennihan AP Photo

This week, Amanda Knox was found guilty, again, by an Italian court.

She was found guilty of murdering her roommate Meredith Kercher in 2009, though the verdict was overturned two years later. Last year, Italy's Supreme Court of Cassation, its highest court, sent the case back to an appeals court and that court found her guilty.

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Real Hope Act
7:17 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

State Senate Passes Its Own Version Of Dream Act

<< Jonny Boy >> Flickr

The state’s undocumented high school graduates may be one step closer to accessing financial aid.

On Friday the Senate passed a measure to make State Need Grants available to students who came to this country illegally with their parents.

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Amanda Knox
1:07 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Italy Appeals Court Upholds Knox Murder Conviction, Sets 28-Year Sentence

File iamge
AP Photo

An appeals court in Florence on Thursday upheld the guilty verdict against U.S. student Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend for the 2007 murder of her British roommate. Knox was sentenced to 28 1/2 years in prison, raising the specter of a long legal battle over her extradition.

After nearly 12 hours of deliberations, the court reinstated the guilty verdict first handed down against Knox and Raffaele Sollecito in 2009. The verdict had been overturned in 2011 and the pair freed from prison, but Italy's supreme court vacated that decision and sent the case back for a third trial in Florence.

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Discrimination
5:00 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Gay Rights Advocates: Idaho Bills Would Upend Local Discrimination Bans

The Pocatello City Council took public comment on an anti-discrimination ordinance in April 2013.
Jessica Robinson

Gay rights advocates say legislation introduced this week in Idaho would undermine local anti-discrimination ordinances passed in seven Idaho cities. The new bills are aimed protecting religious people from activities they say violate their beliefs.

Republican Idaho lawmakers are responding to incidents elsewhere in the Northwest. A florist in Richland, Wash., faces lawsuits for refusing to provide the flowers for a same-sex wedding. In Oregon, investigators found a baker in Gresham who made a similar stand violated the state's civil rights laws.

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Death Penalty
5:19 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Wash. To Change Execution Rules, Allow More Witness Access

The execution chamber at the Washington State Penitentiary is shown as viewed from the witness gallery, in this Nov. 20, 2008, file photo, in Walla Walla, Wash.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

The next time a death row inmate is executed by lethal injection in Washington, witnesses will see more of the process. Washington’s secretary of corrections confirmed Wednesday that a closed-circuit camera will capture the moment the needle goes in.

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Advertising
4:07 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Seattle Sues To Get Rid Of Wall Billboards

Seen at 127 First Ave. N. in Seattle.
City of Seattle

Seattle is suing Total Outdoor, a national advertising company, over the giant ads the company puts on the sides of buildings in the city. Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes says the signs are a flagrant violation of a long-standing Seattle ordinance meant to limit billboards in the city.

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Privacy Law
4:30 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Court To Lawyers: Not OK To Secretly Record Phone Calls As Evidence

Chris Campbell Flickr

Secretly-recorded phone calls are not protected under law even when done in the course of gathering evidence for a lawsuit, law firms were told in a state court ruling.

The Court of Appeals case grew out of the surreptitious recording of a former executive with a technology-engineering firm by lawyers at the Seattle law firm of Davis Wright Tremaine.

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Legal Marijuana
12:06 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

State Lawmakers: No Tax Breaks For Pot Production

File image
AP Photo

Some lawmakers in Washington state want to prevent marijuana producers from qualifying for agriculture tax breaks.

A state House committee heard a bill Tuesday that would block the new marijuana industry from tax breaks for 10 years. Officials estimate that the industry could otherwise qualify for three dozen different tax breaks, largely surrounding the agriculture industry.

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Crime
4:30 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Copper Thieves Leave Tacoma Streets In The Dark For Months

Some streets in Tacoma will be in the dark for at least another six weeks, maybe longer. Thieves have been stealing copper wire from street lamps and city workers haven’t been able to keep up with repairs.

The theft of copper wire is nothing new. But this winter, Tacoma has been especially hard hit. Curtis Kingsolver, director of public works for the city of Tacoma, says for the first 10 months of the year, the city had about one copper wire theft-related street light outage a month.

“But, in the last two months of 2013, we had 56 outages, so we just had this huge rash of occurances that it’s been very demanding for us,” he said.

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Marijuana Business
3:34 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

I-502 Author Says Attorney General Got It Wrong On Pot Business Bans

Dozens of cities and counties have places bans or moratoriums on marijuana businesses.
Associated Press

Washington’s Attorney General buoyed local governments looking to block pot businesses with a legal opinion issued Thursday. His argument cites the intentions of those who wrote the state’s the pot law, but the initiative’s primary author said he got it wrong.

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