Crime, Law and Justice

World War II veteran Delbert Belton was 88 years old. This photo is part of a memorial created for Belton at the Eagles Lodge in Spokane.

Police have arrested the second teenager accused of beating to death an 88-year-old World War II vet in Spokane. The two 16-year-old males have been charged with first degree robbery and first degree murder in case that's attracted national attention.

Delbert Belton was beaten beyond recognition while he waited in his car outside the Eagles Lodge in north Spokane last week. Belton, known as "Shorty" to his friends, served in the Army and had survived injuries in the battle of Okinawa.

FBI. Israel Keyes, suspected of 11 murders, killed himself in December 2012.

The FBI is hoping a more detailed timeline and newly released video will revive a stalled investigation into a serial killer suspected of 11 murders -- four of them in Washington state. Israel Keyes committed suicide last year in an Alaska jail cell before agents could identify all his victims.

Israel Keyes was caught in 2012 after he kidnapped, raped and murdered a barista named Samantha Koenig in Anchorage. The 34-year-old Keyes told investigators he crisscrossed the country, keeping stashes of murder supplies in strategic locations, and killed strangers, often in remote areas.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

If projections are correct, Oregon will need to build fewer prison beds under a new law.

Governor John Kitzhaber signed a wide-ranging public safety bill Thursday. But the measure he approved fell short of what the Democrat proposed.

Kitzhaber had wanted lawmakers to significantly curb the growth of Oregon's inmate population over the next decade. That would have potentially required controversial changes to the state's mandatory minimum sentencing plan for some violent crimes.

Washington’s new DUI law borrows an idea from South Dakota. Starting in January, as many as three Washington counties and two cities will pilot a 24/7 alcohol monitoring program. That could mean offenders wearing high-tech bracelets.

Ignition interlock devices are standard these days for drunk drivers. But there are ways around them. So technology to the rescue.

Austin Jenkins/ Northwest News Network. Dan Schulte, with his sister at his side, speaks at the bill signing ceremony for Washington’s new DUI law.

Second-time drunk drivers in Washington will go directly to jail. They’ll also be required to get an ignition interlock device within five days.

Those are just two of the provisions in a sweeping new DUI measure signed into law Thursday. But already there are calls for even tougher penalties in the future.

The bill signing ceremony took place at a State Patrol field office. Governor Jay Inslee was flanked by police, prosecutors, lawmakers and victims.

Cannabis Training University / Wikimedia http://bit.ly/1kfTt1S

The stated goal of Washington’s new marijuana law is to stop treating adult pot use as a crime. But Washington’s pot consultant says this experiment in legalization will only work if the police aggressively target the black market. And he’s concerned that won’t happen.

The sponsors of Initiative 502 were clear. They said it was time for a “new approach” to marijuana in Washington. They wanted to allow adult pot use, free up law enforcement to focus on violent and property crimes and “take marijuana out of the hands of illegal drug organizations.”

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Police in British Columbia Tuesday announced that they foiled a terrorist plot to bomb Monday's Canada Day celebration in Victoria.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

A lawsuit against a Washington florist who refused to do the flowers for a gay couple's wedding went to court Friday. Attorneys for the Richland florist disputed the state's claim that her refusal on moral grounds violated consumer protection law.

Attorneys for florist Baronelle Stutzman argue the state shouldn't be in court at all. They say claims of discrimination against gays and lesbians should first be reviewed administratively by the Washington Human Rights Commission.

MBisanz / Wikimedia

Oregon lawmakers have given the initial approval to a sweeping measure aimed at checking the growth of the state's prison population. The House Thursday passed a bill that reduces some sentences for non-violent crimes.

The measure would lower the penalties for people convicted of some marijuana crimes and driving with a suspended license. It would also shave prison time off the voter-approved mandatory minimum sentence for robbery and identity theft. It would also put money into programs aimed at reducing recidivism rates.

Charli Deltenre

It's still not clear what the Supreme Court's ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act will mean for many same-sex couples in the Northwest. That's because of new legal questions surrounding the hundreds of couples who have marriage licenses from Washington state but live in states like Idaho and Oregon that have banned same-sex marriage.

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