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News Scan

Change in Crack Sentencing Means Early Release for Federal Inmates: Jessica Gresko of The Associated Press reports thousands of federal inmates will benefit from a change that goes into effect today which reduces recommended sentences for crack cocaine crimes so that they are more equal to the penalties for powder cocaine crimes. The Fair Sentencing Act passed by Congress in 2010 and signed by President Obama reduced the disparities in sentencing for future cases. This summer the U.S. Sentencing commission decided to apply the acts to inmates already serving time. The commission estimates about 12,000 inmates could benefit over the next several years, with an average of three years shaved off their sentences.

Arizona Serial Killer Convicted of Nine Murders: David Schwartz of Reuters reports Mark Goudeau, 47, dubbed the "Baseline Killer," was convicted Monday of killing nine people in Phoenix. His nickname is the name of a major street in south Phoenix along which many of his initial crimes took place. Goudeau was also convicted of 58 other counts, including kidnapping, sexual assault, child molestation, and armed robbery. According to prosecutors, Goudeau was responsible for 13 separate attacks on 33 people during a 13-month period. He is already serving a sentence of 438 years for sexually assaulting two sisters in a Phoenix park, one of whom was six months pregnant. The next phase in the trial will begin Wednesday, in which jurors will determine which, if any, "aggravating factors" may be considering in deciding whether or not Goudeau gets the death penalty.

Operation Boo In Effect for 18th Year in California: Dave Marquis of News10/KXTV reports "Operation Boo," the California Department of Corrections policy of heavily monitoring child sex offenders across the state on Halloween night, saw it's 18th year yesterday with scores of arrest and parole checks. Registered child sex offenders have a Halloween curfew between 5pm and 5am, must remain inside with exterior lights out, and may only open the door for law enforcement officials. The Department of Corrections is responsible for supervising about 11 percent of the over 92,000 sex offenders in California.

Appeals Court to Hear Arguments by Jared Loughner: The Associated Press reports a federal appeals court in San Francisco will hear arguments today on request from the lawyers for Jared Loughner to halt the forced medication of their client with psychotropic drugs. His lawyers also want his stay at a Missouri prison facility rescinded. 

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