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News Scan

Oakland Officials Say Gang Injunction is Showing Results:  A report by Oakland City Attorney John Russo and Police Chief Anthony Batts notes that drug arrests in Oakland are down nearly 70 percent since a gang injunction was approved in June, as reported by Demian Bulwa and Matthai Kuruvila of the SF Chronicle.  The injunction specifically prohibits 15 named gang members from being on the streets after 10 p.m. and from being in contact with other alleged gang members in a 100 block area.  The report will be presented to a City Council committee next week.  The city hopes to secure another gang injunction in another neighborhood.

Jury Will Decide Almaleki's Fate:  My Fox Phoenix reports that closing arguments were heard yesterday in the case against Faleh Almaleki, who is on trial for the first degree murder of his daughter Noor and the attempted murder of her roommate Amal Khalaf.  Almaleki is accused of running them both down with his SUV in 2009.  Prosecutors have characterized the Iraqi man's actions as an "honor killing", because his daughter had become too westernized.  The defense claims it was an accident.  After the crash, Almaleki fled the country.  He was later apprehended in London and extradited to Phoenix.

Montana Senate Adopts DP Repeal:  Stephen Dockery of the Associated Press reports that on Monday, the Montana Senate endorsed a bill to repeal the death penalty in a party line 26-24 vote.  Democrats supporting the repeal argued that the risk of putting an innocent person to death is too high, it is applied in a racially disproportionate manner and the death penalty process it too expensive.  Opponents argued the death penalty removes dangerous criminals from prison and encourages defendants to plead guilty to avoid the possibility of a death sentence, which actually saves the cost of a trial and appeals.  The proposal faces one more vote in the Senate before it moves to the House, which is controlled by Republicans 68-32. 

Judge In Second Petit Murder Trial Stays:   The New Haven Register reports that Superior Court Judge Brian T. Fischer denied the defense motion to remove Judge Jon C. Blue from Joshua Komisarjevsky's trial for the 2007 home-invasion murders of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters, Michaela, 11, and Hayley, 17 and the attack on Dr. William Petit Jr.  The defense claimed that Judge Blue, who had presided over the conviction and sentencing of Komisarjevsky's accomplice Steven Hayes, could not impartially handle the trial of their client.  Judge Fischer denied the motion, stating that nothing he had heard in court "gives rise to a reasonable question regarding (Blue's) impartiality." 

"At Northern Border, Agents Fight Drug War on Ice":  Chris Hawley of the Associated Press reports on the drug war in the largely "forgotten border" between the U.S. and Canada.  A report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office states that the terrorist threat from Canada is higher than from Mexico, because only 32 miles of the nearly 4,000-mile border "reached an acceptable level of security" from Border Patrol during fiscal year 2010.  The DOJ also estimates that 20 percent of the high-potency marijuana produced in Canada is smuggled through a 10-mile stretch of the border located in a Mohawk reservation, an area whose thick forestry and small islands provide ideal hiding spots for drug runners.  Politics on the reservation make drug enforcement even more difficult, as federal agents encounter "a lot of intimidation techniques" and rarely enter the territory without a tribal escort.  Two large signs at an intersection on the reservation state:  "Yes, 'terrorists' come thru [the reservation].  They are N.Y.S.P. [state police], Border Patrol, ATF, FBI, etc., etc.!"  

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