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Patriot Act: A former sailor, charged with leaking information about a navy battle group to suspected terrorist supporters in London, has lost his bid to have incriminating evidence intercepted by taps to his phone and emails suppressed, according to this AP story by John Christoffersen. Defendant Hassan Abu-Jihaad's claim that the provisions of the USA Patriot Act which allowed his communications to be intercepted are unconstitutional was rejected in a decision by Connecticut Federal District Judge Mark Kravitz. This holding conflicts with a September 2007 ruling by Oregon District Judge Ann Aiken, who struck down the challenged provisions of the Act.

Five Ohio Death Penalty Cases have been taken from a federal District Judge who one state prosecutor called a "black hole" for capital cases, as reported in this Cincinnati Enquirer story by Dan Horn. The most recent among the five death penalty appeals removed from Judge Walter Rice's docket was filed three years ago; two others were filed eight years ago. In reassigning the cases, Chief Judge Sandra Beckwith said that Judge Rice "has a very heavy docket." After learning that the cases had been taken from Judge Rice, Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters said "just the fact that they appear to be out of his courtroom is a victory for victims in these cases."

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I wonder why it took this long to take these cases away from Rice. Of course, he is a Carter appointee.

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