Law

Stories about law and politics in the Pacific Northwest, with many from KPLU's Law and Justice reporter, Paula Wissel.

Paula Wissel

Local Somali immigrants are continuing to pressure the federal government to allow them to once again send money to relatives back home.

Now, the Seattle City Council has gotten behind their cause.

Kyle Stokes

Seattle Police say they’re prepared for whatever happens at protests tomorrow for May Day, the international day to celebrate workers that has become a rallying point locally for all sorts of activists.

In the past few years, there have been some arrests on May Day for property damage, although protest marches have been mostly peaceful. The biggest problem  this year could be traffic.

Kyle Stokes / KPLU

Local and federal law enforcement officers in Seattle announced Thursday the arrests of more than 90 suspects in a targeted effort to end street-corner drug deals and related violence in the downtown corridor around Third Avenue & Pine Street.

Seattle Police also announced stepped-up enforcement and outreach efforts in the nine-and-a-half blocks flanking Third & Pine. The swath is marked by the highest concentration of criminal activity in the city, including what Mayor Ed Murray called an "open-air drug market" not far from the city's world-class farmer's market.

Pavan Vangipuram / One America

A bill to aimed at protecting voting rights in Washington isn’t dead but it’s barely breathing. And immigrant and civil rights organizations are scrambling to keep it alive.

Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley is choosing to remain mostly silent about his legal troubles.

Ansel Herz / The Stranger

For the past few years, Seattle has experimented with a different approach to handling low-level drug and prostitution crimes, and new research shows that it’s paying off.

Seattle’s Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program aims to end the revolving door for people who cycle in and out of the justice system. It offers job training, housing and drug treatment to some offenders instead of prosecution. 

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The father of the teenager who killed four students and himself at Marysville-Pilchuck High School has been arrested. Raymond Lee Fryberg, 42, is charged with illegally purchasing the gun used in the mass shooting.

A Richland, Washington, florist will pay $1,000 in fines to the state. The flower shop had discriminated against a same-sex couple that wanted flowers for their wedding in 2013.

According to a spokeswoman with the Washington Military Department, an ongoing federal probe has not affected Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley’s status as a lieutenant colonel in the National Guard.

An attorney who once sued Troy Kelley says the Washington State Auditor has known about a federal probe into his past for nearly two years.

Italy's highest court has overturned a murder conviction in the case of Amanda Knox.

The court's decision puts an end to a story that began in 2009 when Knox was found guilty of murdering 21-year-old Meredith Kercher two years earlier. The verdict was overturned in 2011. But a year later, the Court of Cassation overturned the acquittal and sent the case back to an appeals court in Florence. Last year, that court reinstated the original guilty verdict against Knox and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito.

Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley was not in the office Wednesday. His staff say they don’t know when the Democrat will be back.

A bi-partisan group of lawmakers in the Washington legislature launched a move Tuesday to ban powdered alcohol.

Kyle Stokes / KPLU

Editor's Note: We're taking a closer look at Washington's tax system through a week-long series. This is the second installment of “Where’s the Dough? On the Hunt for Washington’s Missing Tax Dollars." Our first installment explored the history of the state's tax system.  

When she was in the legislature, the giant wooden table in Marilyn Rasmussen's kitchen — the one with the lazy susan big enough to comfortably serve the seven kids she raised here — used to swarm with farmers wanting to talk shop.

"This table always had people around it, always talking about ideas. 'What are our problems? How can we solve 'em?'" the former lawmaker, 76, remembered as she warmed her hand over a hot cup of coffee. "Farmers are really good at solving issues."

Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley said he is "puzzled" by the federal government's investigation of a real estate escrow and title business Kelley closed before he took office in 2013.

There’s a lottery being held in Seattle. But, this one isn’t about winning big bucks. It’s about a chance at affordable housing.

The lottery is being run by the Seattle Housing Authority for slots on a wait list for the Section 8 voucher program.

The federal probe involving Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley is casting a wide net.

The Washington State Auditor’s office has released a federal grand jury subpoena it received earlier this month.

Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley is facing increased pressure to publicly address an apparent federal investigation into his activities.

Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

T-Mobile has illegally prevented workers from speaking out.

That’s what a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) judge has ruled. The ruling affects 40,000 T-Mobile call center and retail workers around the country. 

The Washington state Auditor’s office says it’s turned over documents to the Department of Justice in response to a subpoena.

A bill that would establish an expectation for Idaho schools to intervene when a kid is bullied is headed to the Idaho House floor.

Spring is just around the corner, and with it comes more opportunities to be outside. Oregon lawmakers want children to slather on the sunscreen when they hit the playground.

Oregon lawmakers gave initial approval Tuesday to a bill that would ban so-called "conversion therapy" on youth.

A cast of characters from Washington’s TV and film industry descended on Olympia Tuesday seeking an expanded tax credit for the film industry.

Don Wilson / Port of Seattle

With a growing economy comes a crowded airport.  Port of Seattle officials say the annual number of passengers traveling through Sea-Tac will double to 66 million in the next 20 years. The question is how to accommodate them.

A plan, called the Sustainable Airport Master Plan (SAMP), is being circulated by the Port of Seattle and will be presented at a series of public meetings, the first one on Thursday, March 19, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Seattle Central Library.

Washington lawmakers have approved a flurry of bills -- and killed a bunch too -- as they crossed a key deadline in the 105-day session.

Seattle Police Department

 

One of Amazon's top executives is walking away from the corporate world to join the payroll at the Seattle Police Department. The agency is thrilled to have someone join its upper ranks  who does not come from law enforcement.

Greg Russell, an outgoing Vice President at Amazon's who oversaw the company's corporate applications, will be the Seattle Police Department’s new Chief Information Officer. Russell was one of more than 200 applicants for the newly created position.

 

Freedom could be just weeks away for the youngest person in the U.S. sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Northwest lawmakers are considering whether to make it harder for parents to opt out of immunizing their children.

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