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News Scan

New Hampshire May Expand Death Penalty to Home Invasion Murders:  Norma Love of the Associated Press reports New Hampshire's Governor John Lynch and House Speaker William O'Brien are supporting legislation in making fatal home invasions punishable by death.  The proposed bill is named in honor of Kimberly Cates, who was killed during the course of a home invasion.  A 19-year-old man convicted of her murder was not eligible for the death penalty, because the crime did not fit into any of the eligible murders under New Hampshire law, one of the narrowest capital punishment statutes in the country. 

Connecticut to Upgrade Criminal Justice System Data:
  Mary E. O'Leary of the New Haven Register reports that Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy is proposing changes to allow easier access and communication between law enforcement agencies, in light of the the 2007 Petit family slayings.  Joshua Komisarjevsky, accused of participating in the brutal home invasion, was granted parole months before the killings after serving less than half of his sentence for 19 burglaries.  Because of accessibility issues, the state parole board did not consider Komisarjevsky's sentencing transcript, in which a judge referred to him as a "calculated, cold-blooded predator."  Previous efforts to update the state data retrieval system were unsuccessful due to funding issues.

New Mexico Governor to Propose Expansion of DNA Collection:  New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez will outline a bill tomorrow expanding "Katie's Bill," the state's DNA collection law, to mandate samples from all felony arrestees.  Twelve other states currently require DNA testing for every felony arrest, but have been met with legal challenges on the grounds the collection presumes guilt and violates privacy rights.  Milan Simonich of the Las Cruces Sun-News (NM) has this story.

Expunged Conviction Not Grounds for Libel Claim:  The New Jersey Supreme Court decided today that disclosure of a person's expunged conviction does not serve a basis for a libel claim, reports Chris Megerian of The Star-Ledger (NJ).  The court reasoned that "the traditional recognized defense of truth to a defamation action was not lost in this case because of the existence of an expungement order."   

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