Guantanamo Detainee Charged in USS Cole Bombing: Almost 8 years after a small boat loaded with TNT detonated and ripped through the USS Cole at a Yemeni port, Guantanamo Bay detainee Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri has been charged for planning and surpervising the attack that resulted in the deaths of 17 US service members. According to Josh White's Washington Post story , the government has acknowledged that al-Nashiri was subjected to waterboarding, and his subsequent confession will likely be under intense scrutiny if the charges proceed to trial.
Rampart "Victim" Arrested Again: The most famous, or perhaps infamous, victim of the now notorious Rampart scandal of the late '90s has been arrested after an hour-long police chase for evading arrest, reckless driving, and assault on a peace officer. Richard Winton and Victoria Kim report for the LA Times that he is also being investigated for allegedly making criminal threats to the family that purchased his former home. While no one is condoning police misconduct, this provides pretty clear evidence that the Rampart "victims" were not ordinary, law-abiding citizens, but rather habitual offenders with gang connections.
Coverage of Cal. DP Report: Maura Dolan's article for the LA Times reviews the findings of the California commission charged with comprehensively examining the death penalty in California. The article highlights the fact that the time from sentencing to execution in California is twice the national average, resulting in unnecessary litigation and expense.
Hollywood Drug Case Dismissed after Video Contradicts Police Testimony: According to Jack Leonard's story for the LA Times, the defense for Guillermo Alarcon Jr's cocaine charges introduced a video tape, much to the surprise of the prosecution, which provided evidence that was highly inconsistent with the sworn testimony of the arresting officers. The new evidence prompted prosecutors to request to have the charges dismissed, and the judge exonerated Alarcon.
"Extraordinary Rendition" Case Dismissed: Alan Feuer reports for the New York Times that the Second Circuit in New York ruled in a very contentious decision that the federal courts had no jurisdiction to hear Maher Arar's claims of extraordinary rendition. This will probably not be the last we hear from Mr. Arar, as Amnesty International has focused quite a bit of attention on his case in their campaign against the War on Terror.
D.C. Guns: Legislation in the D.C. Council to allow the keeping of handguns for self-defense has been introduced and is expected to pass, reports Nikita Stewart for the WaPo.