Law & Justice

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

In the months leading up to the eviction of more than 100 people from a tent city near downtown, Boise city leaders frequently cited crime as one of the main reasons the camp needed to be cleared.

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.

Ep_jhu / Flickr Creative Commons

Law enforcement leaders across Idaho are considering whether to seek new laws detailing how they collect and retain video footage and who gets access to the images.

The use of body cameras, dash cameras and jail security cameras means that police and sheriff departments nationwide are gathering more data than ever and receiving more public records requests for the images. Idaho law requires that the videos be stored for two years, but that amount of digital storage can get expensive for the agencies.

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.

telephone, buttons, hotline
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

October 15 marked the one year anniversary of the legalization of same-sex marriage in Idaho. KBSX recently shared an interview with two Boise women who'd sued the state over the issue. Rachel and Amber Beierle talked about how their lives had changed since the decision. Since then, we've asked listeners to call in and offer their thoughts on the issue. 

Here is a sample of those responses. The comments have been edited for brevity only. 

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

 Thursday marks one year since same-sex marriage became legal in Idaho. That means it’s also the one year wedding anniversary for Rachael and Amber Beierle. The Beierlies are one of four couples who sued to overturn Idaho’s ban on gay marriage. We heard from them several times over the course of their lawsuit.

This week, our Adam Cotterell checked in with the couple to see how their lives have changed. The biggest difference, Amber says, is a third member in their family...who was also there for our interview. Hear all three Beierlies by clicking play.

Gay marriage, couples, lawsuit
Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

It's been one year since same-sex marriage has been legal in Idaho. While supporters celebrated the change, critics said it would erode traditional marriage values in the state.

We're curious - has the new rule changed your life? If so, how?

We've set up a hotline where you can offer your thoughts. The number is 208-426-3671. We ask that you keep your comments to a minute or less. Please note: some submissions may be used by KBSX in an on-air segment or as podcast material.

Thank you for participating! We look forward to hearing from you.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho’s Constitutional Defense Council will meet Wednesday. The members will be asked to spend money to pay for a lost legal case. Recent court cases have drained the fund considerably this year.

homeless, sign
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The City of Boise received some good legal news this week: U.S. District Court Judge Ronald E. Bush dismissed a lawsuit against the city Tuesday. The suit, Bell v. the City of Boise, was filed in 2009. The lawsuit alleges the city's camping ordinances criminalize homeless people, and challenged the laws' constitutionality under the Eighth Amendment.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Last weekend, a shooting in Boise’s North End neighborhood sent a woman to the hospital with serious injuries. The victim – Mikaela Zabel-Gravatt – is recovering, and Christopher Wirfs is facing felony charges. The alleged shooter is charged with felony aggravated battery, use of a deadly weapon and unlawful possession of a firearm.

The incident exposes a gap in Idaho's legal code when it comes to getting protection from stalkers.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

The preliminary hearing for Idaho Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl is set for Thursday. Bergdahl left his Afghanistan post in 2009, was captured by the Taliban, held for five years, and released back to the U.S. in a prisoner trade. He is charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.

The military hearing is known as an Article 32. Several media reports, and the Bergdahl Wikipedia page, say his Article 32 is similar to a civilian grand jury. But Brigadier General Walt Donovan says that’s incorrect.

Trevor / Flickr

A traveling exhibit on the Magna Carta is in Boise this week at the Idaho State Archives. The 800-year-old document helped outline America’s system of representative government.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

Idaho's highest court says the state must enforce legislation banning lucrative instant horse racing terminals.

In a unanimous decision issued Thursday, the court ruled that Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's veto of the legislation was invalid because he didn't complete it within the required five-day time span.

Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter issued the following statement today in reaction to the decision:

Gary O. Grimm / Flickr

The Boise City Council is considering changes to the law that deals with guns and parks. Council members had their first look at the new ordinance this week.

Councilman T.J. Thomson is asking for the change.

Ada County Sheriff's Office

A former employee at the Idaho State Correctional Institution has been arrested for sexual contact with an inmate.

The Idaho Statesman reports 22-year-old Shauna Lynn Kelly was arrested Monday and is being held in the Ada County Jail on a $75,000 bond.

Detectives began investigating the allegations in March after being contacted by Idaho Department of Corrections officials.

The Justice Department weighs in on an Idaho case, arguing that homeless people should not be charged with crimes for sleeping outdoors when there is not enough housing in their communities.

Listen to the full version on the All Things Considered website.

Fazliddin Kurbanov Sketch
Ward Hooper / Idaho Statesman

A jury in Idaho has convicted an Uzbek refugee of three terrorism-related charges after prosecutors said he worked to support a terrorist organization and gathered explosive materials in his Boise apartment.

Fazliddin Kurbanov, a Russian-speaking truck driver who fled Uzbekistan in 2009, was arrested two years ago by federal authorities who said he was determined to carry out an attack on U.S. soil. Prosecutors also said he provided computer support and money to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which the U.S. government has identified as a terrorist organization.

Sadie Babits / Boise State Public Radio

A federal judge has sanctioned Idaho for misleading the court about medical and mental health care for inmates.

The ruling from U.S. District Judge David Carter means that the Idaho Department of Correction will remain under the court's supervision until at least the fall of 2017.

The health care legal battle between inmates at the Idaho State Correctional Institution and the state has been happening for more than three decades.

Screenshot / Idaho Public Television

It’s a multi-million dollar question that now stands before the Idaho Supreme Court: Should a ban on instant horse racing become law? This question was argued before the justices Tuesday.

The case is about instant horse racing machines, which some, like the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, argue are too close to illegal slot machines.

Butch Otter
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho had to dip into its bank account Monday to pay for three lawsuits the state has recently lost. The price tag is more than $800,000 dollars.

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