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News Scan

ACLU Opposes No-knock Police Raids:  Ron Barnett and Paul Alongi of USA Today report on opposition to the issuance of no-knock warrants, which a judge may issue if there is a belief that the element of surprise could help officers avoid danger or prevent the destruction of evidence.  Critics argue it poses an unnecessary threat to people whose residences are invaded, citing as an example an incident in Utah when police officers fatally shot a man after a no-knock entry whom they mistakenly believed was yielding a sword.  One attorney for the ACLU states the no-knock tactic will just "increase invasions of privacy and tragic harm to both residents and officers." 

Man in Custody Following 28-Hour Rampage:  Andrew Grossman of The Wall Street Journal reports on a New York man accused of a 28-hour killing spree that left four dead.  After his stepfather refused to let Maksim Gelman, 23, borrow his car, he allegedly stabbed him to death, then went to the home of a woman who had jilted him and fatally stabbed both the girl and her mother.  Gelman then allegedly stabbed another man and carjacked his vehicle, running down 62-year-old Stephen Tennanbaum who died from his injuries.  Gelman stabbed at least one more person, a passenger on the subway, before he was arrested early Saturday morning on a subway car in Times Square.  New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly described the killing spree as "so horrendous and bizarre." 

Ohio Parolee Charged with Rape and Burglary:  Fox19 in Ohio reports Cincinnati parolee Terry Austin, 52, was charged with rape, burglary, and drug possession on Saturday after he allegedly broke into a woman's home, hit her with a baseball bat, and sexually assaulted her.  Austin was released on parole in 2009 after serving time for a 1989 rape conviction.

Petit Trial Update:  Randall Beach of The New Haven Register (CT) reports on a number of motions filed by Joshua Komisarjevsky, the remaining untried co-conspirator in the brutal home invasion/murder case.  The motions include, among other things, a request for change of venue, a removal of Superior Court Judge Jon C. Blue, who presided over the trial of co-conspirator Steven Hayes last year, due to his "lack of objectivity," and a request to sequester the jury.  Komisarjevsky's defense is also asking that the jury pool view graphic crime scene photos during vior dire to check on "prejudice or influence... that could affect the outcome of the trial," and that the defense be afforded double the number of peremptory challenged given "a societal anti-defendant bias, specifically an anti-Joshua Komisarjevsky bias."  Connecticut's responses to the motions can be viewed here.  

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