Law

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

Neeta Lind / Flickr

Turns out, you may not have a good claim if your pot plants are stolen, wrecked or confiscated, even though more insurance policies are being offered.

Yesterday a Clarkston, Wash., woman whose medical marijuana was stolen found out she can’t recover the loss under her renter's insurance policy, because no legal value for the drug can be established. Even growers who get specific policies for their crops worry that their insurance will be no good if the feds bust them.

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. — Police say they have accounted for everyone involved in a shootout outside a Federal Way bar that left one man dead and six other people wounded.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Before Washington Governor Chris Gregoire leaves office in January, she will decide whether to commute the life sentence of convicted killer Barry Massey. His attorneys hope this week’s Supreme Court ruling on life without parole for juveniles will bolster their case for clemency.

In 1988, Barry Massey became one of the youngest juveniles in the country sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He and an accomplice brutally murdered a Puget Sound marina owner named Paul Wang. Massey was just 13 at the time of the killing.

Two members of the Senate's Judiciary Committee are asking the Supreme Court to provide live coverage of its proceedings when it hands down its decision on the constitutionality of the 2010 health care law.

SAN DIEGO — The U.S. Navy says an aircraft carrier group recovered nearly 10 tons of marijuana dumped from small boats in the Pacific Ocean near California's border with Mexico.

Gabriel Spitzer / KPLU

Local and U.S. officials say they’re getting more aggressive about prosecuting gun crimes in Seattle, funneling more offenders into the stricter federal system. Law enforcement officials hope the threat of longer sentences and tougher prisons will deter more crimes. U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan said it’s a proven strategy.

The King County Sheriff's Office says it has positively identified the remains of a woman killed by Green River Killer Gary Ridgway.

Authorities say the remains found in Auburn, Wash., in 1985 belong to Sandra Denise Major.

The U.S. attorney's office in Seattle says seven people were arrested Wednesday in six raids led by a Drug Enforcement Administration task force on suspected methamphetamine smugglers on the Quinault Indian Reservation and other rural parts of Grays Harbor County.

During the raids, agents and officers broke down the door on the wrong home. The resident told KBKW she was taking a shower when armed agents broke in and forced her outside in a bath robe.

Tom / Flickr

Is a community at risk when cops don’t get enough sleep? Washington State University researcher Bryan Vila says it is. In a briefing before the King County Council, he said there are hazards associated with overworked officers.

He says lack of sleep affects your ability to think clearly and problem solve and do other things law enforcement needs to be skilled at, such as:

Police are investigating but have no suspects from a crowd that attacked a patrol car Monday night in the Capitol Hill area of Seattle.

Bellamy Pailthorp / KPLU

Federal prosecutors say a 21-year-old Dutch national coordinated the theft of about 44,000 credit card numbers worldwide, including some from the Boeing Employees Credit Union, by hacking into the sales system of businesses.

Zoren Deneu / Flickr

Sex offenders have to register when they get out of prison in Washington. So why shouldn’t people who commit a violent crime with a gun have to do the same?

It’s an idea being floated by the Seattle Police Department.

Judges: Diversity needed in Washington court system

Jun 5, 2012

The need for a diverse judiciary was the focus of a panel discussion at Washington State University in Pullman Saturday. On hand were judges and justices from around the state, including Judge Cameron Mitchell of the Benton-Franklin Superior Court, who said minority groups don’t always feel like they’re part of the judicial system.

(Updated with audio story, attached.)

Seattle has had it with the flare of gunfire lighting up its streets – and that’s driving city leaders to pull out the stops to find solutions.

More aggressive search and seizures, stiffer local gun laws, increased police patrols, video cameras and now a technology that registers where a gun is fired in the city and notifies police seconds after the shooting – these are some of the tools Seattle officials are looking at to tamp down the violence.

The Associated Press

The King County medical examiner's office has confirmed that a man blamed for a massacre at a Seattle arts cafe and a fatal carjacking killed himself as police closed in.

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