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News Scan

Indiana School District Wants to Allow Bus Drivers to Search Students: The Associated Press reports a school district in western Indiana wants to allow its bus drivers to search students for drugs or weapons. The proposal would give bus drivers the authority to search a student and their belongings if there is an immediate threat of harm or danger to others on the bus.

Be Careful What You Ask For: Peter Busch of KPHO CBS 5 News (AZ) reports convicted rapist Timothy Boles's petition for a new DNA test to clear his name from a 1988 sexual assault backfired on him. Not only did the results confirm his conviction in the case, they also linked him to an unsolved 1991 rape case involving a 12-year-old girl. The Arizona Justice Project paid for the new DNA tests for Boles, who is already in prison for life. "As they push for these efforts of exoneration, we're likely to see additional cases. I don't think this will be the only one we ever see," said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery.

Third Women Sentenced to Florida's Death Row: Kaustuv Basu of FloridaToday.com reports Margaret Allen, 45, was sentenced to death today for the kidnapping and murder of her friend, Wenda Wright. Allen will now be the third woman on Florida's death row. Prosecutor Garry Beatty said Wright was tortured to death. "If that doesn't justify the death penalty, how bad does it have to get?" said Beatty.

First Medical Parole Hearing in California: Sam Stanton of the Sacramento Bee reports Steven Charles Martinez, a quadriplegic and inmate at Corcoran State Prison, will become the first state prison inmate to face a medical parole hearing that starts on Tuesday. Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a state law in September as a cost-saving measure that would allow inmates who are in a vegetative or highly incapacitated state and deemed to pose no threat to society to win release from prison with the approval of the Board of Parole Hearings. Taxpayers provide $500,000 annually for Martinez's medical care. Martinez's case has gone before the state Board of Parole Hearings in 2008 and 2010 under California's "compassionate release" program, and the board denied his release both times. "Martinez's mental state remains unchanged," the board concluded last September. "He remains a violent person capable of using others to carry out his threats."

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