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News Scan

Supreme Court Orders Reconsideration Cases of Four California Parolees:  The AP reports the Supreme Court today vacated four Ninth Circuit rulings granting early release to four California inmates.  The high court ordered the Ninth Circuit to reconsider these cases in light of Swarthout v. Cooke, the January Supreme Court decision reminding the Ninth Circuit that "the responsibility for assuring that the constitutionally adequate procedures governing California's parole system are properly applied rests with California courts, and is no part of the Ninth Circuit's business."

Corruption at the Border:  Mexican drug cartels are attempting "systematic corruption" among U.S. border agents with offers of cash bribes and sexual favors, top officials in the Department of Homeland Security acknowledged during a Senate subcommittee hearing last week.  Customs and Border Protection (CBP) commissioner Alan Bersin says a hiring boom in effect since 2004 has led to a "younger, less experienced" workforce and "exposed critical organizational and individual vulnerabilities within CBP."  The agency is responding with internal investigations and Congress last year passed the Anti-Border Corruption Act of 2010, which requires that all applicants to law enforcement positions in CBP be screened by a polygraph.  Daniel Hernandez has this story in the LA Times.

Georgia High Court Upholds Strict Standard in Capital Cases:  Bill Rankin of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the Georgia Supreme Court affirmed the state's standard requiring that a capital defendant prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he or she is mentally retarded to avoid the death penalty.  Georgia's standard is the strictest among the death penalty states.  Hat tip to How Appealing.

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