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News Scan

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Dead Man Appeals Conviction: Jennifer Sullivan of The Seattle Times reports convicted murderer Christopher Harrison Devlin is appealing his case from beyond the grave and at the expense of state taxpayers. The 57-year-old truck driver was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for killing a man that was supposed to testify against him regarding an assault charge. A few days after being sentenced Devlin committed suicide in his cell. Now his sister, who is appointed trustee of the estate, is continuing with the appeal and wants the taxpayers to pay for it. The Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys wrote, "There is no constitutional right or statutory authority for the use of public funds to underwrite the estate's moot appeal." The state Court of Appeals is considering whether or not a deceased convict can be represented by a third party and if the state will pay for it.

Rape Charges Added for Man Accused of 1957 Murder: Matthew Walberg of the Chicago Tribune reports a Seattle man charged with kidnapping and murdering a 7-year-old girl in 1957 has been indicted for the rape of a teenage girl. Jack McCullough is accused of abducting Maria Ridulph near her home, then dumping her partially-clothed body in a rural Illinois county. McCullough fled the state shortly after Maria's body was discovered and was arrested in connection with that case in June. During the investigation, Illinois investigators learned McCullough allegedly raped a 14-year-old girl. A source familiar with the case said the alleged incidents occurred shortly after Maria was killed.

Connecticut Death Row Appeals Moving Slowly: Dave Collins and Pat Eaton-Robb of the AP have this piece on the current state of Connecticut's capital appeals, noting that of the state's 10 death row inmates, three have been awaiting execution for more than 20 years and two others for at least 12. None of the executions is likely to occur soon, as all the death row appeals have yet to proceed to the federal review stage. Superior Court Judge Carl Schuman issued rare criticism from the bench this summer when he denied the latest appeal of convicted cop killer Richard Reynolds, saying the "lethargic movement of this case is contrary to society's need for finality of convictions." Some believe Connecticut lawmakers will make another push to abolish capital punishment in the state, but have delayed doing so until the conclusion of the second Petit murder trial.

Knox Acquitted: Elizabetta Povoledo has this update to the notorious Amanda Knox case, after an appellate court jury of eight Italians, which included two judges, overturned Knox's homicide conviction after more than 11 hours of deliberation.

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