Adam Liptak of the New York Times, writes of a 72-year-old
woman who was raped back in 1989. Joe Sullivan, who was 13 at the time,
admitted to burglarizing her home, but did not confess to the rape. Now 33 years old,
"Sullivan's lawyers have asked the United States Supreme Court to consider
whether the Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment extends to
sentencing someone who was barely a teenager to die in prison for a crime that
did not involve a killing." Taking a look at court decisions since Sullivan was
sentenced, "Douglas A. Berman, an authority on sentencing law, said that it is
time for the Supreme Court and the legal system to widen its relentless focus
on capital cases and to look at other severe sentences as well."
According to a story by Paulo Prada of the Wall Street Journal, Jackson Mayor Frank Melton, who won his 2005 election with over 80% of the vote, is now facing "felony charges related to his hard-line, gun-toting tactics." This is not Mayor Melton's first charge. In May 2006, "Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood warned Mr. Melton about allegations of his conduct exceeding lawful authority." Later in the same year, Melton was indicted but never convicted of using similar tactics to conduct a home raid. Mr. Melton is receiving mixed responses from the community. "He means well and has a huge heart, but he's not an effective mayor" said Brad "Kamikaze" Franklin, a 35-year old rapper and Jackson developer who once supported Mayor Melton. Also mentioned, "in his zeal to fight crime, many add, he has ignored other city needs and led Jackson government astray." In response to all charges and reactions from the community, "Mr. Melton vows to press ahead. At the moment, he plans to issue an executive order against baggy, hip-hop-style pant." Recently when addressing council members, he said "we have some issues that are much bigger than the Constitution."
Holder confirmed: Eric Holder has been confirmed by the Senate as U.S. Attorney General, 75-21, reports Larry Margasak for AP.