<< Cal. Governor's Race | Main | Blog Scan >>

News Scan

| 1 Comment
California Inmates Claim the Governor Did Not Comply With Panel's Requirements:  Sacramento Bee writer Denny Walsh reports that the attorneys for Californian inmates have asked the panel to hold Governor Schwarzenegger in contempt for not complying with the panel's order to submit a plan to reduce California's prison population.  The panel found that prison overcrowding is the main reason inmates are receiving inadequate health care, and that care violates the Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.  The inmates' attorneys said, in response to the plan the Schwarzenegger administration submitted, "essentially [they] have told the court that they will reduce the prison population as the state sees fit, to a level the state deems appropriate, and in a time frame the state has set for itself."  In response to the claim, Schwarzenegger's spokeswoman Rachel Cameron said,"The state filed a plan that complies with population reduction and does not create risk to public safety, and we continue to object to the panel's arbitrary cap under a two-year timeline and are continuing our appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court."   

Effects of the Stop and Frisk Rule:  Associated Press writer Colleen Long reports on the mixed reviews of the stop and frisk rule.  In 1968, the Supreme Court held in Terry v. Ohio that if police have reasonable suspicion they can stop and frisk a suspect.  When a suspect is stopped, they could be questioned, patted down, or have their bag or backpack searched.  Civil liberty groups claim that the practice is racist and it fails to deter crime; but police departments maintain it is a necessary tool that turns up illegal weapons and drugs, and prevents more serious crime.  In the mid-1990s, Mayor Rudy Giuliani and New York Police Department made stop and frisk an integral part of the city's law enforcement procedure because they believed targeting low level offenses help prevent the bigger ones.  The increase of street stops resulted in an overall drop in the city's crime. Currently, the number of street stops are increasing throughout the nation.  In Philadelphia, stops have nearly doubled from 2007 to 2008, and in Los Angeles stops have doubled in the past six years.  Police in major U.S. cities stop and question more than a million people a year.  We've supported these stops in the past.  Most recently in our brief Arizona v. Johnson

Indiana Court Finds No Warrant is Needed For DNA Sample:  CBS blogger Declan McCullagh reports that on September 30, an Indiana Court of Appeals held that police do not need to obtain a search warrant before getting a DNA sample from them.  The case, Artho Garcia-Torres v. The State of Indiana, deals with the conviction of Artho Garcia-Torres for rape and attempted rape of two female Valparaiso University students.  In this case, police obtained a DNA sample from Garcia-Torres without a warrant. The defense argues that the Fourth Amendment prohibits the police conduct because it is an unreasonable search and seizure.  Courts are split on the issue.  In Minnesota, a state appeals court ruled that such conduct violates the Fourth Amendment, but in Virginia, a state court said that it's "no different in character than acquiring fingerprints upon arrest."  One federal court has addressed the issue by saying that if a judge or grand jury determine there is probable cause, a swap test is permissible upon arrest.  As new DNA testing laws are enacted, questions surrounding the constitutionality of the practice becomes more prevalent.

Alabama Death Row Inmate Executed:  Birmingham News writer Tom Gordon reports on the  execution of death row inmate Max Landon Payne.  Payne died by lethal injection on Thursday -- with no incidents -- in Holman Correctional Facility's chamber.  In 1994, Payne was sentenced for the 1992 robbing, kidnapping, and killing of Cullman County store owner Braxton Brown.  Brown was killed by two shotgun blasts to the face.  Alabama has no other scheduled executions.

1 Comment

Re: Alabama. The Alabama AG has requested an execution date for Thomas Arthur.

Leave a comment

Monthly Archives