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News Scan

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Another Killer Nailed by DNA:  A cold case DNA hit has identified habitual sex offender and murderer Robert Stansbury as the man who raped and murdered a 29-year-old Barbara Hall in 1974.   As reported by Ruby Gonzales of the Mercury News, Stansbury died on San Quentin's death row in 2003 while awaiting execution for the kidnap, rape and murder of 10-year-old Robin Jackson in Pomona.  He had been in and out of prison since 1959 for several other kidnappings and rapes, apparently benefiting from policies initiated in the late 1960s which focused on short sentences and rehabilitation.  At the time that he murdered Hall, Stansbury had finished serving a short sentence for the 1970 robbery and rape of an Oklahoma woman. 

Watch Out for "No refusal" DUI Checkpoints:  If you get waved into a checkpoint after a few drinks in Florida or Texas tomorrow night, go ahead and take the breath test.  Adam Freeman of Florida's Channel 10 News and Charles Gonzalez of KSAT in San Antonio report that police will draw blood at DUI checkpoints for any drunk driving suspect who refuses to take the breath test.  At checkpoints in both states, a judge will be on site to issue search warrants authorizing the taking of a blood sample.  Defense attorneys are unhappy, claiming that the mandatory blood test is a violation of a suspect's constitutional rights.  "What other misdemeanor offense do we have in the United States where the government can forcefully put a needle in your arm," said Florida DUI attorney Kevin Hayslett.  Texas attorney Jamie Balagia, known as the "DWI Dude", is also upset. "If they don't have enough evidence against you to make a solid case, how is what little they have enough for a judge to sign a warrant?" said Balagia.

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Balagia's statement doesn't make any sense. Of course the amount of evidence needed to get a warrant is less than the amount needed for conviction. It's "probable cause" versus "beyond a reasonable doubt." There may be decent arguments against the program, but this isn't one of them.

Art. 5, Sect. 8 of the Cal Const states: "Subject to application procedures provided by statute, the Governor, on conditions the Governor deems proper, may grant a reprieve, pardon, and commutation, after sentence, except in case of impeachment. The Governor shall report to the Legislature each reprieve, pardon, and commutation granted, stating the pertinent facts and the reasons for granting it. The Governor may not grant a pardon or commutation to a person twice convicted of a felony except on recommendation of the Supreme Court, 4 judges concurring."

Question: So Cooper can still seek a reprieve without the recommendation of 4 judges?

Is a reprieve just another word for a stay and is only temporary? Did I answer my question above? I think I did. Thanks!

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