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News Scan

Restitution Fund for Victims of Juvie Crime:  Victims who were denied full restitution after the kickback scandal involving former Pennsylvania Judge Mark Ciavarella can now seek compensation from a special fund, reports Terrie Moran-Beseckers of the Times Leader (PA).  When the state's high court vacated the convictions of thousands of juveniles who appeared before the former judge, the victims were no longer eligible to receive restitution payments.  The $500,000 fund was established last year by the state Legislature to compensate these victims.  180 such victims have already been identified.  

Mississippi Switching to Pentobarbital:  Miss. AG Jim Hood says the state "most likely will" make the switch to pentobarbital, AP reports.  He has asked the Mississippi Supreme Court to set an April 20 execution date for Robert Simon.  This AP report from Monday states that the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from Simon, who claims his lawyers failed to investigate his history of child abuse to possibly avoid a death sentence.  Simon was sentenced to death for the 1990 killings of Carl Parker, Bobbie Jo Parker, and their son Gregory, and to life in prison for killing their 9-year-old daughter Charlotte.

Petit Case Updates:   Randall Beach of The New Haven Register reports two prospective jurors for Joshua Komisarjevsky's triple-homicide trial were dismissed after refusing to be in the same room with the alleged murderer.  Since jury selection began one week ago, only two jurors have been selected.  The New Haven Register also reports Judge Roland Fasano today denied Komisarjevsky's motion to plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence.

Non-Emergency? Call 3-1-1:  Fran Spielman and Frank Main of the Chicago Sun-Times report Chicago is preparing to divert non-emergency 911 calls to a 311 number or the city police department's website.  Officials say the changes will allow officers to respond to the most serious reports during a time of severe manpower shortage.

They stole the what? Burglars in Bellingham, Washington broke into a shuttered sports bar, where there was nothing left but fixtures to be auctioned off, AP reports.  They stole the condom machine.  "It's unknown if any condoms were left in the machine when it was stolen."

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