Law

Courtesy Boise State University

Imagine you’re facing the U.S. court system. You’ll spend the next several years steeped in a case that will decide your fate or the fate of someone you love. Now imagine you have no lawyer, no one to help you navigate the arcane twists and turns of this alien world. Now imagine you have to do this all in a language you don’t speak.

Betsy Russell

When voters in Idaho go to the polls on November 8 they'll be asked to change the state's constitution. H.J.R. 5 comes from legislators, who want to take a power they already have and make it stronger, by enshrining it into the constitutional framework.

On a summer morning in July 1915, thousands of poor factory workers lined the Chicago docks, waiting to board ships for the much anticipated annual picnic hosted by Western Electric Company. But as 2,500 passengers flooded aboard the first ship, the SS Eastland, disaster struck. The huge liner flipped onto its side, drowning more than 800 people in the filthy Chicago River, including 22 whole families.

TASER International

The Boise City Council is set to vote on a contract worth more than $1.4 million that will equip police officers with body cameras.

Phil Sedgwick / Courtesy Concordia School of Law

Warning: This is the most "Public Radio" Halloween story possible.

Andrew Kim, a professor at Concordia University School of Law in Boise wrote a paper that will be published in an upcoming edition of the Savannah Law Review. What does that have to do with Halloween? Well, the paper is about law on the TV show The Walking Dead.

The Walking Dead is about survivors of a zombie apocalypse who battle the undead as well as fight other people over scarce resources. It’s both popular and gruesome but Kim thinks it reveals a lot about the rule of law versus the rule of nature.

This interview was originally broadcast in November, 2005.

Chris Butler / Idaho Statesman

Boise’s Concordia Law School graduates its first group of students Saturday. The school, which is three years old, just received provisional accreditation in June.

Graduate Blake Echols transferred to Concordia for his second year of law school. He says the fact that the institution wasn’t accredited when he started didn’t bother him.

“I got opportunities here that I probably wouldn’t have had elsewhere," says Echols, "it being a new school, it being a much smaller school.”

Michael Galkovsky / Flickr Creative Commons

The ACLU of Idaho is suing the state over its public defense system. Public defenders represent people accused of crimes who can’t afford a lawyer, a principle enshrined in the constitution.

Now that he's been charged both with desertion and with misbehavior before the enemy, Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl could be looking at life in prison if he's convicted.

Bergdahl abandoned his post in Afghanistan and was held captive by the Taliban for five years before being freed in a prisoner swap.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

On February 11, 2015, KBSX hosted four panelists and members of the public for a discussion on the state of police and community relationships in Idaho.

Police-involved controversies in Ferguson, Mo. and New York City last year served as the impetus for the discussion.

Courtesy of Allen Derr

Longtime Idaho attorney Allen Derr passed away in Boise Monday. He was a founding member of the Idaho Press Club and a champion of equal rights. He may be best remembered for a 1971 U.S. Supreme Court case involving Sally Reed of Boise.  Her son had committed suicide a few years earlier. 

Courtesy of the Idaho Press Club

Allen Derr, an Idaho lawyer who won a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling to bolster anti-discrimination protections for women, died Monday in Boise. He was 85.

On Nov. 22, 1971, the Supreme Court justices issued their Reed vs. Reed decision, holding states cannot discriminate against people because of their gender. It marked a departure from the era when courts often excluded women from full participation in important civil affairs.

Idaho Statesman

Sunday we learned that former Idaho Supreme Court Justice Byron Johnson passed away after a battle with cancer.

He was a lawyer and a political mover and shaker.  But in his heart, Byron Johnson was a poet.  “I think that poetry is a vehicle that I have used to deal with feelings I have that are hard to resolve,” he once said.