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News Scan

Missouri College Launches School-Wide Drug Testing:  Alan Scher Zagier of the AP reports Linn State Technical College, a two-year school in central Missouri, this week enacted school-wide, mandatory drug testing of its students.  Linn State college leaders say drug screening is necessary to maintain safety at the school, where students participate in dangerous coursework such as aircraft maintenance, nuclear technology, and heavy engine repair.  Attorney for the school Kent Brown acknowledges that the school's program is unique in its scope, but that local employers have overwhelmingly supported the drug screening, which students can expect upon their entry to the workforce. 

Arkansas Court Hears Argument About Juvenile LWOP:  The Arkansas Supreme Court heard argument today in a case challenging a sentence of life without parole for juveniles convicted of murder, reports John Lyon of Arkansas News.  Lemuel Session Whiteside was convicted of capital murder for his participation at the age of 16 in a deadly robbery in Little Rock.  His attorney argued to the court that Whiteside's sentence of LWOP is unconstitutional under the U.S. Supreme Court decision Graham v. Florida because Whiteside was not the actual triggerman in the murder. 

Retrospective Competency Hearing for California Death Row Inmate:  A Lake County, California judge heard testimony yesterday during a retrospective competency hearing for California death row inmate Gerald Frank Stanley.  In 1980, Stanley shot to death his fourth wife, while out on parole for killing his second wife.  A jury convicted him in 1983.  A separate jury was then asked to consider whether Stanley was competent during the penalty phase of his 1983 trial.  The jury determined that he was and Stanley was sentenced to death.  Over a decade later, a federal judge overturned the competency verdict because one of the jurors had failed to disclose she was a victim of violent crime.  Stanley has maintained he understood the nature of all the court proceedings and objected to his federal defenders filing a motion questioning the jury's competency verdict.  During his testimony yesterday from San Quentin, Stanley told the judge he "deserved the death penalty."  Jeremy Walsh of the Lake County Record-Bee (CA) has this story.  

65,000 Phone Calls Excessive?:  The AP reports Dutch prosecutors have charged a woman with stalking after she allegedly called her ex-boyfriend 65,000 times in the past year.  That's an average of 178 calls per day.  The woman claims the number of calls wasn't excessive.

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