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News Scan

Panhandling Permits Required: Raleigh's local station WRAL's Adam Owens reports on panhandling permits being issues by the city of Raleigh, NC.  In the city of Raleigh, a panhandler could be arrested and fined if caught panhandling without a permit.  Permits can be obtained, for no charge, from the Raleigh Police Department with a photo ID and are good for one year.  There are two purposes for the permit.  The first is to help the police identify the panhandlers.  The second is to point out city guidelines like, no aggressive begging, no blocking traffic, stay away from ATM machines, and operating between the hours of 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.  Panhandler Martin Sansalone, 62-years-old, has been panhandling within the city guidelines for four years.  Sansalone says, on a good day he can make $20 an hour.  A permit will be issued to any applicant unless the panhandler is wanted for a crime.

UPDATE November Execution sought for D.C. Sniper: Richmond Time-Dispatch writer Jim Nolan reports that the execution of John Allen Muhammad is still on schedule.  November 10, 2009, is Muhammad's scheduled execution date for the slaying of Dean Meyers.  Meyers is one of the ten people shot to death by Muhammad in October 2002.  Muhammad's attorney Jonathon Sheldon has said that Muhammad will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court and ask the governor for clemency.  But Virginia Governor Timothy M. Kaine says, "I know of nothing in this case now, that would suggest that there is any credible claim of innocence or that there was anything wrong with the prosecution... So I would know of no reason why clemency would be granted."

The Supreme Court's Up and Coming Term:  Wall Street Journal writer Jess Bravin reports on the questions facing the Supreme Court when it begins a new term on Monday.  Some of the questions the court could consider include, whether juvenile offenders can be sentenced to life without parole for crimes such as rape or robbery; whether a prosecutor can be sued for winning a conviction by procuring false testimony; and whether the government can criminalize depiction of animal cruelty.  Recently, there has been a change in membership with Justice Sonia Sotomayor replacing Justice David Souter, and many wonder if there are any other changes in store for the new term.  Ed Whelan, president of the conservative Ethics and Public Policy Center, says, "I am hopeful that the chief justice will demonstrate a willingness to overturn wrong precedent when the occasion for reconsidering the precedent is ripe."  The courts ordering of a special September 9 reargument, seems to suggest they are willing to review case law that they disagree with.  But, Mr. Calabresi, board chairman and co-founder of the Federalist Society, says that "the court under Chief Justice Roberts has so far sought to distinguish precedents rather than overrule them when it can."  Looking at last years term, suggests a court of division rather than unanimity.  Tom Goldstein, the founder of the scotusblog.com, which follows the Supreme Court, wonders if last years divided court "[i]s an anomaly or are we settling into a pattern of a bitterly divided court."   

Technology Allows You To Track Sex Offenders:  CNN writer Stephanie Chen reports on an iphone application called Offender Locator that allows users to access information revealing whether there are sex offenders living within a 10 miles radius of the iphone.  Tracy Rodriguez says, she uses the application several times a day because she is constantly worrying about her family's well being.  Rodriguez is not the only one taking advantage of the application.  The application has been downloaded more than a million times, and is breaking into the top 10 most popular applications.  In the past, law enforcement has relied on email and texting to interact with the public, but now iphone is expanding their ability to interact by allowing people to access information wherever they get cell service.  Since the iphone launched, there have been a couple of crime-fighting applications, and they continue to be developed.


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