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News Scan

Immigration To Add 1,300 Beds For California Detainees: Amy Taxin of the Associated Press reports U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials announced they will add 1,300 beds to detain suspected illegal immigrants in Southern California, a region where a substantial number of immigrants are detained. A facility will be set up in the city of Adelanto. Authorities say that they are trying to create more bed space to cut down on the transfer of detainees to other locations, often out of state, due to a lack of bed space in the Los Angeles area. With the addition of the facility in Adelanto, the number of beds available in the Los Angeles area will be more than 3,000.

North Carolina Bill Would Repeal The Racial Justice Act: Gary D. Robertson of the Associated Press reports a North Carolina House judiciary committee endorsed a bill that would repeal the Racial Justice Act, a two-year-old law which allows prisoners to challenge their death sentences on the basis of racial bias. If a judge agrees that the defendant's case was tainted by racial bias, they could reduce a death sentence to life in prison. Almost all of North Carolina's 158 death row inmates have filed paperwork under the act seeking to overturn their sentences. Repealing the measure would return the state to a standard set by a 1987 U.S. Supreme Court Decision that says a judge would have to find that police or prosecutors acted with discriminatory purpose to prove racial bias. The bill will go to the House floor for a vote.

California Senate Approves Giving Minors Sentenced to LWOP a Chance to Get Out:
Patrick McGreevy of the Los Angeles Times reports the California Senate voted 21 to 16 to approve SB 9, a bill by Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) that would allow those serving prison sentences of life without parole for crimes they committed when they were under 18 to have their cases reviewed after 15 years with the possibility of having their sentences changed to allow parole. According to an analysis by the Legislature, there are about 275 people in California serving sentences of life in prison without parole for crimes committed when they were minors. The Senate-approved bill now goes to the Assembly.

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