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News Scan

Police Fatalities Up in 2010:  The number of police officers killed in the line of duty is up 37% from last year, according to data released today by the the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.  160 officers have died so far this year, up from a 50 year low of 117 in 2009.  Greg Bluestein of the Associate Press has this story.

No Death Penalty for Accused Arsonist:  Leila Atassi of The Plain Dealer (OH) reports an Ohio defendant accused of setting the deadliest fire in Cleveland's history will not face the death penalty after a federal judge adjudged him mentally retarded.  27-year-old Antun Lewis is charged with igniting a multi-family home in 2005, killing eight children and one adult.  Lewis's trial is scheduled to begin in January.

Warrant Needed for GPS Tracking, Says Delaware Judge:  GPS tracking of a vehicle without a warrant violates the Delaware constitution, according to Superior Court Judge Jan R. Jurden.  Judge Jurden reasoned that if no warrant were required, "any individual could be tracked indefinitely without suspicion of any crime. . . No one should be subject to such scrutiny by police without probable cause."  The courts are currently split on the issue, but this ruling puts Delaware with New York, Oregon, and Massachusetts requiring a warrant for such tracking.  Sean O'Sullivan of The News Journal (DE) has this story.  Hat tip to How Appealing.

Wrong Holiday, Guys:  Two days before Christmas, Customs and Border Protection officers caught 23-year-old Esteban Gates of Florida attempting to smuggle 14 pounds of cocaine camouflaged as Easter eggs, reports Michael Martinez of CNN.  The agents were tipped off because they "trained to detect anomalies in all kinds of situations," stated CBP spokeswoman Lee Harty.

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