Saturday, May 19, 2007


House Bill 1626, approved by the House on Wednesday, would require North Carolina law enforcement agencies to record all homicide interrogations, either by audio or video devices. The bill is designed to reduce the contesting of cases because of the interrogation process. The recording must be uninterrupted. It may be refused, and if so, that refusal must be recorded. A survey of 500 law enforcement agencies using the tactic found lower litigation costs, decreased number of issues raised in appeals, and an increase of cases ending in plea agreements rather than trial. The bill now goes to the Senate.

The House passed a bill unanimously Tuesday, Senate Bill 1026, that would require adults over the age of 54 to get a driver's license that expires within five years instead of eight years. The bill is designed to ensure safe driving practices. The bill also took care of a technical issue that arose when a bill enacted last year tightened drivers license eligibility. Many legal visitors to the U.S. have not been able to get a drivers license, which has been a real hardship for foreign employees of the universities and many of our high-tech industries.

House Bill 445, which assists adult adoptees or their biological parents in finding out each other's identities, passed the House on Tuesday and now goes to the Senate for consideration by the Judiciary II Committee. The bill was a compromise which allows an adoption agency to act as a "confidential intermediary" between an adoptee age 21 or older and a biological parent. With the written permission of both sides, the agency could facilitate contact between the parent and child or share identifying information. Family medical information could be sought by a child's adoptive parents.

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