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News Scan

Serial Rapist Gets 12 Life Sentences:  Truck driver and convicted serial rapist Marvin Martin, 33, was sentenced in a Georgia court today to 12 consecutive life sentences for abducting and raping seven women over a four-year period, reports Larry Hartstein of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  Prosecutors allege Martin searched for women, coaxed or forced them into his work 18-wheeler, and raped them at knife or gunpoint.  The case was solved in 2009 after police linked Martin to the crimes through a Department of Transportation number imprinted on his truck.  His sentence is the longest prison term handed down in Fulton County, Georgia for a sex crime.

"Why Sacramento can't get cell phones out of prison":  Debra Saunders of the SF Chronicle has this piece on the uphill battle to keep cell phones out of California prisons.  Saunders specifically notes that smuggling a cell phone into a state prison is still not a crime in California, and that a policy of searching prison guards on their way into the prisons threatens a significant financial burden because it will increase the officers' paid "walk time."

Teeth Not Dangerous Weapon Says Oregon Court:  Tom Hallman Jr. of The Oregonian reports the Oregon Court of Appeals yesterday ruled teeth are not a "dangerous weapon" to support a conviction for first-degree assault.  The court determined that the state law definition of a "dangerous weapon," i.e. "any weapon, device, instrument, material or substance under the circumstances in which it is used . . . is readily capable of causing death or serious physical injury," because they " does not include teeth because they "are not external to the human body."  Hat tip to How Appealing.

Heat of Passion?:  The Houston Chronicle reports a Taco Bell customer in San Antonio faces three counts of attempted capital murder after he shot an air gun at the restaurant manager, displayed a semiautomatic assault rifle, and exchanged gun fire with three police officers.  He was arrested after a three-hour standoff at a hotel.  The cause of the man's violent outburst?  The 50 cent price increase, from 99 cents to $1.49, for a Beefy Crunch Burrito.

"Fat Slobs" and the First Amendment:  In Villa Hills, near Cincinnati, Kevin Kennedy is suing police officer/building inspector Joseph Schutzman.  Schutzman arrested Kennedy following a dispute over zoning enforcement in which Kennedy called Schutzman a "fat slob."  The Sixth Circuit today ruled that Kennedy's suit can go forward.  AP story here; opinion here

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