Law & Justice

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In order to prevent people with severe mental trauma from receiving unfair treatment in the judicial system, many states have implemented an "insanity plea" that would allow for mental rehabilitation instead of incarceration. Idaho does not currently recognize this as a defense, but that could change. Mountain West News Bureau reporter Madelyn Beck talks to Idaho Matters about a new ruling could impact how these cases are prosecuted.


The American Legion is designed to help those who have served active duty in the U.S. military, and the organization has several posts across the country. On this Veterans Day, Idaho Matters take a special visit to an VFW post -- behind bars. Boise State Public Radio's George Prentice reports this story from the Idaho State Correctional Center.

SalFalko / Flickr

Veterans often receive help when it comes to healthcare, but what about legal aid? The Idaho Military Legal Alliance is working to provide aid for veterans in the form of pro-bono legal work. In advance of Veterans Day, they talk to Idaho Matters about their monthly workshops in Boise and Caldwell and how they can help our military service members.

Idaho Capitol Dome
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

An Idaho District Court judge will now have to decide whether or not top legislators can even bring a lawsuit against the state treasurer without both the House and Senate signing off on the case.

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

Elected officials will square off in an Ada County courtroom Thursday afternoon as legislators are seeking to evict the state treasurer from the state Capitol.

Eric Risberg / AP Images

Cannabis is illegal in Idaho, even as states surrounding us legalize medicinal or recreational marijuana. But recently there have been several CBD shops that have opened within the state, creating some murky legal waters for consumers to navigate. We talk with a Concordia University School of Law professor to better understand the legality of Idaho's new CBD vendors.

David J. Phillip / AP Images

Have you found yourself distracted by your phone while driving? Although the state of Idaho banned texting while driving several years ago, the City of Meridian has become the latest municipality in the state to go a step further. The city council just voted to ban hand-held devices, even while stopped at a light. We hear from one of the Meridian City Council members who thinks the law will reduce crashes and change habits. 

homeless, sign
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Lawyers representing several homeless people are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reject a request from the city of Boise to review the legality of its anti-camping ordinance.

Black and Pink / Facebook

A transgender Idaho inmate can begin to get her initial treatment prior to undergoing court-ordered sex reassignment surgery.

Ethan Webber / Boise State Public Radio

In three weeks, Boise Police Chief Bill Bones will retire from his position after 27 years with the department. Idaho Matters talks to Chief Bones for an "exit interview" about his time with the BPD, his thoughts on changes in the department over the years, what he's looking forward to in retirement and the class of police coming up behind him.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Boise’s fight to ban public camping by the city’s homeless population is gaining a lot of allies. Several cities, counties and others are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the case.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP Images

The City of Boise has been in a years-long battle in an attempt to implement an anti-camping ordinance that would prevent a person from sleeping outside in public places, unless the homeless shelters are full. After the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the ordinance to be unconstitutional, the city is atempting to take the issue to the U.S Supreme Court for a final ruling. Mountain West News Bureau reporter Madelyn Beck talks about the latest on this story.

Scott Ki / Boise State Public Radio

The Idaho Supreme Court is expected to decide next year whether prison officials must reveal the past source of their execution drugs.

Ethan Webber / Boise State Public Radio

Do personal biases affect the criminal justice system? Implicit biases are subconscious preconceptions that people formulate unintentionally. They can inform decisions - even within our judicial system. Concordia Law professor Summer Chandler joins Idaho Matters to explain the issues preventing total equality.

 Have a question or comment for the show? Tweet @KBSX915 using #IdahoMatters.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said Wednesday that Idaho will not be part of a reported settlement with Purdue Pharma, and the state will continue to pursue litigation against the company and its owners.

Marcia O'Connor / Flickr

Three truck drivers hauling hemp through Idaho won’t face any further jail time after reaching a plea deal with Ada County prosecutors.

Steven Senne / AP Images

After the deadly mass shooting in an El Paso Walmart earlier this summer, Walmart announced it no longer wants customers to open carry firearms in their stores. Since then several other national chains have followed suit, including Boise-based Albertsons. The company announced on Twitter over the weekend that they will now request all of their customers to not open carry inside their stores.


But do these requests or bans carry the force of law? We tread into the murky waters and legalities of this issue with University of Idaho law professor Shaakira Sanders.

Gavel, Courts, Justice
SalFalko / Flickr Creative Commons

The Idaho Press Club has filed a lawsuit against Ada County, saying officials repeatedly violated the state's public record act in response to four separate public records requests from journalists.


The lawsuit asks a judge to order the county to release the public records, claiming county officials over-redacted some documents and wrongly denied access to others. We talk with the Vice President of the Idaho Press Club about why they're pursuing this lawsuit.

Idaho Transporation Department

In the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day, there is a spike in traffic fatalities across the country. This is known as the "100 Deadliest Days" of driving. We talk with highway officials about what to know before going on the road this weekend.

Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP Images


Last Friday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals announced their decision in the case of Adree Edmo, a transgender inmate who sued the state of Idaho for sex reassignment surgery. Edmo won. Now, Idaho Gov. Brad Little (R) plans to appeal to the Supreme Court.


Ethan Webber / Boise State Public Radio



Is the U.S. Supreme Court a “law court” or a “political court?” What are the limits of congressional investigatory power? When can the president rebuke congressional subpoenas? Constitutional law expert David Adler with the Alturas Institute helps us undersand the answer to these questions.

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

Bob Hall was just released from Idaho state prison. He spent 20 years behind bars, and in two decades — a lot has changed. Boise State Public Radio's George Prentice profiled Hall, who is learning how to navigate life after prison through a new Idaho Department of Correction program. 

Ryan Kang / AP Photos

County fairs have become Idaho's latest gun rights battleground. Canyon County and Twin Falls have been the focus of disagreements over whether guns are allowed at county fairs in the Gem State. Now the battle has moved to the Festival at SandpointIdaho Matters takes a deep dive into the subject.

Cooper Court, a former tent city in Boise
Kyle Green / Idaho Statesman

The city of Boise has officially filed its appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court over its controversial anti-camping ordinance.