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News Scan

Dr. Petit Can Attend Entire Trial, Judge Rules:  New Haven Superior Court Judge Jon Blue ruled today that surviving victim Dr. William Petit can attend the entire trial of Joshua Komisarkevsky, the second man to be tried for the brutal killings of Petit's wife and two daughters.  Komisarjevsky had filed a motion to sequester Petit, claiming Petit, who will testify in the case, could be affected by the testimony of other witnesses in the case.  Komisarjevky's trial begins next month.  Randall Beach of the New Haven Register has this story.

Mass. High Court Orders New Trial for Landlord Killing:  Denise Lavoie of the AP reports the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court today ordered a new trial for Nino DiPadova, convicted of murder for stabbing his former landlady 100 times.  DiPadova, who had a long history of serious mental illness, told police that voices told him to kill 56-year-old Nancy Carignan.  DiPadova also admitted to using cocaine on the night of the killing.  The court ruled the jury instructions given at trial explaining the interrelation between mental disease and voluntary intoxication was erroneous.  "In these circumstances, the defendant was entitled to an instruction informing the jury that, if his mental illness alone had caused him to lack criminal responsibility at the time of the murder, any drug use that increased or aggravated his condition did not negate his lack of criminal responsibility."  The court also revised its standard model jury instructions related to this issue. The case Commonwealth v. DiPadova can be accessed through the Massachusetts court website.

Supreme Court to Revisit Eyewitness Identifications:  Adam Liptak has this piece in the New York Times about the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court case Perry v. New Hampshire, addressing the restrictions for admitting out-of-court eyewitness identifications.  The court has not addressed eyewitness evidence since 1977.

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