<< News Scan | Main | News Scan >>


News Scan

| 0 Comments
Any Help is Better Than No Help:  CNN writer Amanda Watts reports inmates at California's San Quentin helped rescue two boaters who had fallen and drifted from their boat in the San Francisco Bay early Wednesday.  Prison staffers and ten fire department inmates went into the water around 1 a.m. and rescued the man.  San Rafael Fire Department personnel arrived soon after and helped rescue the female.  A staff member and several prison inmates performed CPR and other life-saving measures on the male, who was later pronounced dead.  The woman was treated at a hospital and released shortly thereafter.  Prison spokesman Lt. Sam Robinson said the inmates in the prison's fire department are trained paramedics who were not convicted of violent or sexual offenses.  This was the first water rescue the inmates had ever responded to.  "Ninety-nine percent of what they do happens inside the facility," Robinson said.

"Military to Pursue First Capital Prosecution Against Terror Suspect":  Military prosecutors have recommended the death penalty for the accused mastermind behind the deadly bombing of the USS Cole in 2000.  After the announcement was made Wednesday, the 46-year-old Saudi native Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri s now closer to trial before a military commission.  This could very well be the first death penalty trial in the reconfigured military trial system.   Intelligence sources have said Al-Nashiri led al Qaeda operations in the Persian Gulf before he was captured by the U.S. in 2002.  Al-Nashiri is charged with heading the attack on the USS Cole that ultimately killed 17 sailors and left 47 others injured.  The final decision about whether the death penalty will be pursued is up to retired Vice Adm. Bruce McDonald.  The last military execution was in 1961, involving a U.S. Army private who was convicted of rape and attempted murder of an Austrian girl.  CNN has this story.

Lawyers Urge Supreme Court to Extend Graham v. Florida Decision:  Almost a year ago, the Supreme Court ruled that sentencing juvenile offenders to life without the possibility of parole violated the Eighth Amendment, but only for crimes that didn't involve murder.  That decision affected around 130 prisoners convicted of crimes such as rape, armed robbery, and kidnapping.  Lawyers are now petitioning new cases to the Supreme Court involving other prisoners who were 14 when they were committed their murders, urging the justices to extend last year's decision Graham v. Florida to all 13-and 14-year-old offenders.  It should not be long until the justices decide to address the questions posed in the petitions.  If the Graham decision were to be extended to all juvenile offenders, about 2,500 prisoners would be affected.  Our own Kent Scheidegger disagrees with the Graham decision and "extending it to homicides would be wrong squared."  "Sharp cutoffs by age, where a person's legal status changes suddenly on some birthday, are only a crude approximation of correct policy," he added.  New York Times reporters Adam Liptak and Lisa Faye Petak have this story.

Indiana Supreme Court Hears Argument on Convict Voting:  Charles Wilson of the AP reports the Indiana Supreme Court heard argument today in a case challenging the scope of a state law stripping the voting rights of those in jail.  The Indiana constitution allows voting rights to be taken away for convictions of "infamous crimes."  A South Bend man, whose voter registration was canceled after he was sent to jail for misdemeanor battery, claims his crime shouldn't count.  Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher says "infamous crimes" should mean whatever legislators want it to mean.

Leave a comment

Monthly Archives