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ACLU Sues Michigan Over Juvenile Lifer Laws:  The ACLU sued the state of Michigan today on behalf of nine juveniles convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.  The suit alleges that a state juvenile sentencing law, which requires 14-year-olds charged with certain felonies to be tried as adults and if convicted, sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.  The ACLU said Michigan has 350 such inmates, the second highest number of such offenders in the U.S.  The lawsuit is asking U.S. District Judge John Corbett O'Meara to declare Michigan's law unconstitutional, even for juvenile murderers.  The Detroit Free Press has this story.

Indiana Lawmakers Urged to Discuss Death Penalty Costs:  Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller attended a University of Notre Dame event Monday to discuss with lawyers and law students the costs of capital punishment in the state.  He did not present specific solutions to alleviate costs or for a moratorium on the death penalty, but rather pushed for a "candid conversation" about death penalty expenses, including costs at the trial and appellate levels.  Economics professor Anne Morrison Piehl of Rutgers University suggested at the event that Indiana develop stricter limitations on reimbursement for trial expenses, such as limiting the number or type of expert witnesses or reducing their fees, or develop audit procedures after the fact.  Read the Journal Gazette's article here.

First Death Sentence Under Japanese "Lay Judge System":  The first death sentence was handed down earlier this week under the Japanese lay judge system, in which a panel of professional and citizen judges examine a crime to determine the appropriate sentence, reports The Yomiui Shimbun.  Receiving the death sentence is double murder Hiroyuki Ikeda, who killed one of his victims by decapitation with an electric saw.  In making its ruling, the panel considered Ikeda's motive of personal gain, the "relentless and brutal" nature of the crimes, and consideration of the victims' families.  While the ruling also noted Ikeda's expressed remorse, the panel concluded this merely managed to recover his humanity.
Death Row Inmate Linked to Additional California Murders:  The Los Angeles Times reports DNA evidence has linked Alfredo Rolando Prieto to the 1990 slayings of a young couple in Riverside County.  Prieto is already on death row in California and recently received a death sentence for a murder in Virginia.  In total, Prieto has been linked to nine murders and four sexual assaults.

DNA Lands Gang Member 40 Years in Prison:  Long Beach gang member Ricky Kong, 22 has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for killing one man and wounding two others at an apartment building in 2006.  Kong's DNA sample taken after his 2008 robbery conviction matched a DNA sample found at the 2006 death scene.  Trial was scheduled to start today, but Kong pled no contest yesterday to voluntary manslaughter and attempted murder and was sentenced immediately.  The AP has this story.

Suspect Surrenders After Dragging Officer From SUV:  Elmer Stewart, 62, turned himself in to S.F. police Monday after dragging an officer several feet hanging onto his SUV.  Officers were conducting a narcotics investigation and had stopped Stewart on the streets.  The officer approached Stewart and saw him reaching for a large amount of narcotics.  When the officer tried to restrain him, Stewart shifted the vehicle into drive, dragging the officer several feet.  Stewart, who is on federal probation for a previous drug offense, is charged with two felonies, aggravated assault on a peace officer and evading a peace officer causing injury.  He is also charged with resisting arrest, a misdemeanor.  The San Francisco Chronicle has the story here.

Next Time, Use the Remote: Todd Richmond reports for AP, "A rural Wisconsin man apparently enraged by Bristol Palin's 'Dancing with the Stars' routine blasted his television with a shotgun, leading to an all-night standoff with a SWAT team, investigators said." He was charged with reckless endangerment.

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