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PNS Daily Newscast - September 25, 2020 


Democrats reported to be preparing a smaller pandemic relief package; vote-by-mail awaits a court decision in Montana.


2020Talks - September 25, 2020 


Senators respond to President Donald Trump's refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power. And, former military and national security officials endorse Joe Biden.

Public News Service - NC: Criminal Justice

One-in-5 women and 1-in-71 men in the United States will be sexually assaulted at some point in their lives, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. (Adobe Stock)

RALEIGH, N.C. — State lawmakers have voted unanimously to close legal loopholes related to consent and sexual assault. The loopholes made North Carolina one of the few states in the country where cases of rape that initially began with consent, or that involved voluntary use of alcohol or drug

More than 3,000 people currently are being held in solitary confinement in North Carolina's state prisons. (Adobe Stock)

RALEIGH, N.C. — Four plaintiffs and the ACLU of North Carolina have filed a class-action lawsuit in a Wake County Superior Court against the state's use of solitary confinement. The practice involves holding people in isolation cells no larger than a parking space for 22-24 hours a day. Iren

Roughly 300,000 people come into contact with North Carolina's justice system each year, according to the Carolina Justice Policy Center. (Adobe Stock)

WILSON, N.C. – Police officers in Wilson County are taking steps to reduce the region's high incarceration rate by issuing citations to people for nonviolent misdemeanors, rather than arresting them. Criminal-justice reform advocates have said this approach circumvents the cash-bail system an

The Racial Justice Act, passed in 2009, allowed North Carolinians on death row to present evidence that racial bias played a role in their death sentences. The law was repealed in 2013. (Adobe Stock)

RALEIGH, N.C. – In the coming weeks, six North Carolinians currently on death row will find out if they will get new hearings and be re-sentenced to life without parole. The defendants, including five men and one woman, maintain that racial bias played a role in their sentencing. Back in 2

There are currently 142 people on death row in North Carolina prisons, according to the state's Department of Public Safety. (Adobe Stock)

DURHAM, N.C. - The case of North Carolinian Charles Ray Finch, 81, released last month after more than 40 years in prison for a 1976 murder he did not commit, spotlights some of the problems with death-penalty convictions. Finch was convicted and sentenced under what was then a state law that made

Each year, more than 20,000 people are released from North Carolina prisons. Finding employment is often one of their biggest challenges. (Adobe Stock)

RALEIGH, N.C. - North Carolina legislators are pushing for reforms to make it easier for people to expunge nonviolent criminal offenses from their records. Introduced by Sens. Warren Daniel of Avery and Danny Britt of Columbus, both Republicans, along with Sen. Floyd McKissick, a Democrat from Dur

A new poll found that when North Carolina voters considered a range of alternatives to the death penalty, including restitution to victims' families, only 25 percent favored the death penalty. (ACLU)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Criminal justice experts in North Carolina are calling the death penalty part of a "sordid history" of racial terror. A brief filed in a North Carolina case by the nonprofit Promise of Justice Initiative argues that capital punishment now is used so rarely that it should be

A poll shows voters across party lines are concerned about racial bias in death-penalty cases; 47 percent voted for Donald Trump and 45 percent for Hillary Clinton in the last presidential election. (Center for Death Penalty Litigation)

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina has long been considered a pro-death penalty state, but a first-of-its-kind poll found voters overwhelmingly believe the death penalty is error-prone and racially biased. And a majority say it should be replaced with alternative punishments. David Weiss is a ca

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