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"Alleged al-Qaida operative Jose Padilla has mild anxiety and personality disorders but is mentally able to stand trial, a prison psychologist said Monday in testimony that contradicted two defense experts," the AP reports. He also appears to be following the al-Qaida manual for behavior when captured: claim torture and don't cooperate with anyone, including defense counsel.

Confront black-on-black crime is the title of this op-ed in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette by Rev. Bill McGill. "We need a compact that says men and women, black or white, who sell drugs are greater enemies to our progress than all of the active or silent supporters of the Ku Klux Klan. We need a fresh understanding that there are no greater Uncle Toms than those who look like us but engage in cutting, shooting, stabbing, raping, robbing, mugging and murdering other blacks."

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument today in Scott v. Harris concerning high-speed police pursuits as described in a preargument SF Chronicle article by Jennifer A. Dlouhy. The case involves a claim that a pursuing officer in Georgia used excessive force when he pushed a speeding vehicle he was chasing, causing an accident which paralyzed the 19-year-old driver. The ruling by the Eleventh Circuit is available here. The transcript of argument is here. Here is coverage of the argument by Mark Sherman of AP, Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSblog, and David Savage at the LA Times

The Supreme Court denied review on a challenge to the 200-year consecutive sentence that Morton Berger, a 52-year-old high school teacher received in accordance with Arizona's tough laws on sex offenses. According to a story in Reuters by James Vicini, Berger's attorney argued that the sentence was "grossly disproportionate to his crime" and under federal law Berger would have only received 5 years.

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Regarding the Harris case, it seems to me that the fact that the suspect was being chased is irrelevant. If the 4th Amendment is silent as to the vigorousness with which a suspect is pursued, then how can it be used to, in effect, mitigate the suspect's dangerousness. Wouldn't that do indirectly what the 4th Amendment does not do directly?

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