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News Scan

"The Ray Lewis Challenge":  PolitiFact Georgia has this response to a prediction by Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis that crime rates will increase if the NFL lockout continues through the season (see previous post here).  The prediction prompted several groups, including PolitiFact, The Baltimore Sun, and criminologist James A. Fox to conduct (unscientific) studies into the merits of Lewis's claim, and all generally concluded it to be false.

Alito, Sotomayor on Criminal Justice System:  Robert Barnes has this piece in The Washington Post on Justices Samuel Alito and Sonia Sotomayor, the Supreme Court's two former prosecutors who often take very different views in criminal cases.  For instance last week, Alito authored the majority opinion in Davis v. United States, further paring back applicability of the exclusionary rule, while Sotomayor penned J.B.D. v. North Carolina, holding that child suspects deserve special consideration while being interrogated.

Cal. Supreme Grants Review of Deadly Domestic Violence Case:  Bob Egelko of the SF Chronicle reports the California Supreme Court last week agreed to review the notorious case against Tari Ramirez (also known as Tare Beltran), who stabbed to death his ex-girlfriend Tempongko in front of her children in San Francisco in 2000.  Ramirez had a history of violence against Tempongko, and the city's handling of the case led to a $500,000 settlement with Tempongko's family and changes in the way the city handles domestic violence cases.  Ramirez was convicted of murder in 2008, despite his claim that he killed his ex-girlfriend in the heat of passion after she told him had been pregnant with his child and had an abortion.  The Court of Appeals in San Francisco reversed his conviction in March, finding the voluntary manslaughter jury instruction given at trial erroneously allowed the jurors to consider how a reasonable person would have acted in Ramirez's situation, instead of whether a reasonable person would have acted out of passion rather than judgment.  Groups advocating for domestic violence victims joined the case seeking review from the California Supreme Court, arguing the current standard "eliminates accountability for abusers who claim provocation."

Anti-Death Penalty Group Files Complaint Against Doctor:  Walter Jones of the Savannah Morning News reports the Southern Center for Human Rights, a group opposed to the death penalty, filed a complaint to Georgia's medical board seeking to revoke the medical license of Dr. Carlo Anthony Musso.  The complaint accuses Musso of illegally importing a pain killer into the state and selling it to Tennessee and Kentucky for use in lethal injections. Georgia law requires two physicians to supervise executions, and Musso is scheduled to oversee the execution of Georgia death row inmate Roy Blankenship on Thursday.  If the license revocation is successful, the Department of Corrections will likely be forced to delay the execution to find another willing physician.

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