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News Scan

Georgia DA Seeks Death Penalty for Murderer of Law School Student: Amy Leigh Womack and Joe Kovac Jr. report in the Macon Telegraph that Bibb County (GA) District Attorney Greg Winters announced his intention to seek the death penalty for Mercer University law graduate Steven McDaniel, 26, if he is convicted for the June dismemberment killing of his classmate, 27-year-old Lauren Giddings. Her dismembered torso was found wrapped in plastic bags and stuffed in a trash can beside her apartment in downtown Macon. McDaniel was her next-door neighbor. Billy Giddings, Lauren's father, wonders if the prospect of the death penalty will put pressure on McDaniel to cooperate with authorities and provide information about where the rest of Lauren's remains are. 

World's First Clinic for Stalkers Opens in London: The Press Association (UK) reports the world's first clinic aimed at treating stalkers opened in London Thursday. "If we can treat stalkers, then we can save lives," said Dr. Frank Farnham, a consultant psychiatrist and one of the founders of the clinic. Dr. Farnham said the service will initially deal with referrals from courts for the assessment of stalkers, and if further treatment is needed, an 18-month course would be provided as a less expensive and more effective option for courts than a prison sentence for stalking-related offenses. 

CDCR to Convert Women's Prison to House Low-Level Male Inmates: The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced today its decision to convert the Valley State Prison for Women (VSPW) in Chowchilla to a facility that will house low- to medium-security adult male inmates. The CDCR says the conversion will help to reduce inmate overcrowding among the adult male population and avoid staff layoffs at the institution. The conversion is expected to be completed by July 2013.

Connecticut Man Given Death Penalty for Deadly Home Invasion: John Christoffersen of the Associated Press reports after five days of deliberations, a jury condemned Joshua Komisarjevsky to death Friday for killing a woman and her two daughters in their home. Komisarjevsky will join his accomplice Steven Hayes on Connecticut's death row. Komisarjevsky and Hayes were both on parole at the time of the murders. The 2007 attack has drawn comparisons to the crime described in "In Cold Blood," and sparked tougher state laws for repeat offenders and home invasion crimes. 

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