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News Scan

Serial Killer Seeks New Trial:  J.M. Lawrence of The Boston Globe reports U.S. District Court Judge Mark L. Wolf is investigating whether jurors who recommended death for a serial killer lied on their jury questionnaires.  In 2003, a Massachusetts federal jury recommended a sentence of death for Gary Lee Sampson, convicted of killing three men during a 2001 criminal rampage.  Judge Wolf summoned three of the jurors last November to testify in closed court about their juror questionnaires, according to court documents released on Friday.  Among a few discrepancies discovered, one juror admitted to omitting prior driving violations, and another to failing to disclose that her boyfriend was a university police officer.  Federal prosecutors claim these discrepancies do not amount to juror bias warranting reversal of Sampson's sentence.

New Police Task Force Solves Cold Case:  Katherine Krueger of The Badger Herald (WI) reports a cold case has been cracked by Madison Police Department's new task force, the Cold Case Review Team (CCRT).  Founded in 2010 and funded in part by a Department of Justice grant, the CCRT assess the "solvability" of cold cases using a number of factors.  After the CCRT determined a high level of solvability in the case of Dorothy Paige, found stabbed to death in her home nearly two decades ago, an investigation led to the first degree murder charge of a previous suspect in the case.  "This is critical in terms of bringing justice to victims," says Madison Police Department Chief Noble Wray.  "Not only do we have a new manner to approach cold cases, families at home can know it's not just a lottery of waiting for new tips in an investigation."

Duke Accuser Charged With Murder:  The woman who falsely accused three Duke lacrosse players with rape was charged today with murdering her boyfriend, reports Mike Baker of the AP.  Crystal Mangum is charged with the stabbing death of Reginald Daye, who died in a hospital earlier this month nearly two weeks after the attack.

Massachusetts Attorney General Reacts to Court Ruling:  In response to a ruling from the state's high court (see previous post here), Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley today called for an update to the state's wiretapping law.  The current wording of the statute permits wiretapping only in connection with investigation of organized crime, but Coakley says the "whole face of crime has changed totally" and that wiretapping is also needed to combat "disorganized crime," such as street gangs and shoplifting rings.    John R. Ellement of The Boston Globe has this story.

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