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Use of Force: When is it appropriate to use force? Two shooting incidents in Sacramento over the past week indicate the current policy, which permits deadly force in self defense but, criminalizes it in defense of property. A story by Ryan Lillis in the Sacramento Bee describes the two incidents.

The Texas' Juvenile System is the topic, once again, of a story by Sylvia Moreno of the Washington Post. The juvenile system is facing serious charges by the newly revised Texas Youth Commission. This came after reports of sexual abuse of juvenile wards by correctional officers and unfair extended sentences were made public. The story includes an interview with Joseph Galloway, a ward who was kept years beyond his sentence and claims he was sexually abused.

Strange Stuff A 17 year-old boy charged with sexually abusing and beating a 14-year-old girl in Washington is actually 30-year-old woman. Lorelei Corpuz had posed as a teenage boy and met the girl over the internet, convincing her that he was an orphan who's parents were killed. Disguised as the boy, Corpuz began living with the girl's family according to an Associated Press story by Gene Johnson. She has been charged "with two counts of third-degree child rape and one count of third degree child molestation and is being held in lieu of $150,000 bail.

Drunk driving An estimated 10,000 drunk driving cases in New Jersey depend upon the outcome of a state Supreme Court review of breathalyzer tests conducted with the Alcotest 7110. The Court is responding to a legal challenge by defendants claiming that the testing device is not reliable according to an Associated Press story by Angela Delli Santi.

DNA samples will be collected from all registered sex offenders in Tennessee if Representative Beth Harwell's bill becomes law. The bill "advanced out the House Judiciary Committee today," according to this Eyewitness News report from Nashville.

Packin Heat in Your Pickup A tradition in Texas, is under attack according to an article in the New York Times by Ralph Blumenthal. The issue has brought together an odd couple, the NRA and the ACLU, who have issued a report which "found that district and county attorneys have instructed police officers to 'unnecessarily interrogate drivers and arrest them or take their weapons,' even if they are legally carrying the gun.'" Legislation has been introduced which will require police to treat a motor vehicle like a home, with regard to the possession of a firearm without a license. The proponents cite the the case of 51-year-old oil-field geologist Keith Patton who was arrested after his unlicenced gun was discovered by Houston police during a traffic stop.

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Re: Deadly force and property crimes. It's more than just a "property crime". The property owner likely worked hard for whatever it was being taken. Moreover, when your property is taken from you by force in front of you, that is demeaning and a deep affront to one's dignity. Whether the law should authorize deadly force in such situations is another matter, but I would find it very difficult to convict someone who shoots a thief in the driveway.

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