Gruesome pictures bring jury to tears as they see the room where 7-year-old Nixzmary Brown was bound to a chair, starved and forced to urinate in a litter box. Reported by The New York Times yesterday, Cesar Rodriguez was convicted of manslaughter for killing his stepdaughter. The jury wanted to convict him for murder but felt the prosecution “didn’t really give [them] enough.” Brown’s mother also faces charges in a separate trial. As a result of this case, five bills have been introduced in the Legislature that would increase punishment for child abuse crimes or make it easier for police intervention.
Race and Homicide
In Los Angeles, police officials report that the 35% increase in homicide rates was not due to race. Joel Rubin from the L.A Times reports Police Chief William J. Bratton is counting on a report to refute the myths about racial tension between Latinos and blacks. This is going to be hard to explain considering the recent homicides where Latino gang members are accused of killing blacks. In one instance, 17-year-old football star Jamiel Shaw Jr. was shot and killed near his home after being asked what gang he was associated with.
A new law for Sex Offenders in San Diego
California voters in 2006 approved ‘Jessica’s Law’ to prohibit sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of schools and playgrounds. Fox 6 News reports the San Diego City Council unanimously passed a bill last month that will prohibit registered sex offenders from coming within 300 feet of places frequented by children.
Sex Offenders challenging Adam’s Law
In Ohio, Brad Dicken reports that offenders are challenging the constitutionality of Adam’s Law. The law is called Adam’s Law after Adam Walsh, who was abducted and killed in 1981 at the age of 6 years old in Florida. According to Dicken, under the law every state must impose uniform sex offender classifications by 2009 or lose federal funds. When the law took effect in Ohio, the state had to reclassify every sex offender in the state to meet the new guidelines.
With a cherry on top
On FOX News, three Mississippi legislators proposed a bill to prohibit restaurants from serving food to obese customers. The chairman of the House Public Health and Human Services Committee says, “It is too oppressive for the government to require a restaurant owner to police another human being from their own indiscretions.” The reason for the bill was to confront the state ranking for having the highest obesity rate in the United States.
Mississippi crack down on illegal workers
In yesterday's Clarion-Ledger, reporter Leah Rupp writes that Gov. Barbour has signed Senate Bill 2988. The law will take effect in July and require large companies to use the eVerify system to determine if a worker is a citizen. Penalties include cancellation of state or public contracts, prohibition from bidding from any contracts for up to three years, and a sentence of up to five years in prison or a fine up to $10,000. The Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance estimates there are about 200,000 undocumented immigrants living in Mississippi. Rupp says, “Immigrants rights' advocates fear that the new law could lead to increased racial profiling and hamper economic development.