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DNA and God: Russell Kaemmerling, a long-term guest of the United States Bureau of Prisons, objects to the BoP's plan to take a DNA sample for the database, claiming it is "tantamount to laying the foundation for the rise of the anti-Christ." Somehow, we suspect his real reason is that it would lay the foundation to convict him of other crimes he may have committed in the past or may commit in the future. The D.C. Circuit was not persuaded by this creative Free Exercise Clause argument or the more mundane Fourth and Fifth Amendment arguments. Seemingly none of the recent obituaries of Avery Dulles, a renowned theologian and Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, has mentioned his crisp, theoretical defense of capital punishment. The Cardinal's careful explanation of his church's teaching responded to the popular impression of blanket Catholic opposition to the death penalty," writes Mark Tooley in the Weekly Standard.

Oh, Never Mind. Orin Kerr at VC reports that the Sixth Circuit has withdrawn the "fuzzy dice" opinion, noted in Lauren's post yesterday.

Pardons. S.F. Chrontrarian Debra Saunders has this column about the Toussie pardon debacle and the pardons she thinks President Bush should grant before departing.

Alberto Gonzales, former Attorney General, "is writing a book to set the record straight about his controversial tenure as a senior official in the Bush administration," reports Evan Perez in the WSJ.

Three Strikes: California's controversial sentencing law may not be completely immune from judicial scrutiny, even after Ewing v. California538 U.S. 11 (2003). Bob Egelko reports in the SF Chron of the case of Cecilio Gonzalez, whose third strike consisted of failure to report his whereabouts, as is required annually for registered sex offenders, and got 28-to-life. The Ninth Circuit panel was Judges Canby, Kleinfeld, and Bybee, the latter two being generally more favorable to the prosecution that the average for this court.  Nonetheless, the court granted habeas relief. The opinion is here.

Sentenced to Death, Again: Darryl Kemp escaped the death penalty in 1972, when both the California and United States Supreme Courts threw it out. Six years later, we now know, he raped and murdered Armida Wiltsey of Lafayette, California.  DNA testing finally solved this cold case in 2003. Today, a jury returned a verdict of death, reports Henry Lee in the SF Chron. This is a stark reminder, once again, that published recidivism rates are not the number of crimes committed by released felons, but only the number that get caught.

Defending Blago: Very few public figures are speaking out in defense of embattled Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. Former Ayatollah of the California Assembly Willie Brown is one of the few, according to this LA Times story by Maria La Ganga.

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