DA dismisses hundreds of 'Moral Monday' arrests in North Carolina, citing recent court rulings

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RALEIGH, North Carolina — The top prosecutor in North Carolina's capital is dropping criminal charges against hundreds of people arrested at mass protests at the legislature last year.

Wake County District Attorney Ned Mangum said Friday his move was prompted by a June 30 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court upholding the constitutional rights of people to peacefully assemble and protest government policies.

That decision has since been cited by judges in rulings in favor of Moral Monday protesters. The demonstrators were arrested by police while opposing the conservative agenda enacted by Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and GOP lawmakers.

Of the nearly 1,000 people arrested in 2013, about half resolved their cases by agreeing to do community service and pay a modest fee. Mangum's action dismisses almost all the remaining cases.

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