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News Scan

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Investigators in 1982 Tylenol Case Want Unabomber's DNA:  FBI officials are seeking a new DNA sample from "Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski as part of their investigation into the 1982 Tylenol incident, in which seven people died after taking pills laced with potassium cyanide.  The unsolved case was reopened in February 2009, prompted by the 25th anniversary of the crimes and advances in forensic technology made since the original investigation.  An FBI spokesperson says Kaczynski has refused to provide a sample voluntarily, though Kaczynski claims in a handwritten motion filed earlier this month that he would provide a sample if the FBI would satisfy a certain condition (which is unknown at this time).  About 60 items seized from Kaczynski's Montana cabin in 1996 will soon be up for grabs on an online government action, with proceeds to benefit four of his victims.  As of yesterday, bidding for his 35,000-word handwritten manifesto stood at more than $12,000.  CNN has this story.

Jury Recommends Life Without Parole for Mother Who Microwaved Baby:  An Ohio jury recommended a sentence of life without parole for China Arnold, convicted of killing her 28-day-old daughter by placing her in a microwave, reports the AP.  The jury had the option of recommending a death sentence, but selected life instead after six-and-a-half hours of deliberation.  This was the third time Arnold had been tried for the crime; the first trial ended in a mistrial, and her second conviction was overturned by an Ohio appellate court last November.

Indiana Ruling Sparks Protest:  The AP reports a ruling by the Indiana Supreme Court (see previous post here) that there is no constitutional right to resist unlawful police entry into a home has sparked outrage from lawmakers, threats to the court, and a planned rally against the ruling at the statehouse.  Despite claims that the ruling "pretty much wipes out the Fourth Amendment," law professor Ivan Bodensteiner says the decision brings Indiana in line with around 40 other states that don't recognize a common law right to resist illegal police entry.  Bodensteiner also clarifies that the ruling doesn't permit police to enter home unlawfully, but only holds that if they do, the resident's remedy is to file a civil claim against the officer rather than resort to physical violence.

Memo to Carjackers: Check the Fuel Gauge:  Joshua Melvin of the San Mateo County Times reports a suspected carjacker's getaway plan was foiled when the stolen car ran out of gas.  Stephen Allen, 20, allegedly ordered a mother and child out of their car in a restaurant parking lot, then made it about eight miles down the road before hitting empty.

2 Comments

Re: Indiana. There is the matter of that statute which allows the use of deadly force to stop illegal entry into one's home.

One of the most important things we have in America is our freedom, and that freedom, sometimes, is dangerous. Years ago, in Indiana, a man named Fred Sanders violently resisted a completely illegal police entry and violent (they broke down his door) into his home. He killed a cop. After the cops arrested him, they beat the hell out of him. Under the statute I mentioned, it's doubtful that Mr. Sanders should have even been charged with a crime. But he was. And the police that beat him severely, no punishment.

This is a difficult issue.

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