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News Scan

South Dakota AG Wants to Limit Death Penalty Appeals: Steve Young of The Argus Leader (SD) reports South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley has introduced Senate Bill 42, which would put stricter limitations on the appeals process for inmates sentenced to death in the state. The bill would create a two-year statute of limitations for bringing a writ of habeas corpus and claims of ineffective counsel, allow judges to decide whether a habeas corpus claim requires the appointment of counsel, and create provisions to prevent repetitive claims of ineffective counsel. The bill was passed out of the state Senate Judiciary Committee 5-1 Thursday, and will now go to the full state Senate.

The Cost of Saving Money: Mandy Feder, managing editor for the Record-Bee, has this opinion piece about the costs of California's prison realignment program, designed to ease state prison overcrowding and save the state money. She discusses the negative impact the shift has on rural counties, where services are already scarce. Feder also presents a scary bit of information, saying that approximately 90 percent of inmates being sent to counties are testing out of their current facilities as "high-risk" offenders.

Montana Judge Says Federal Law Trumps State's Medical Marijuana Law:
Matt Volz of the Associated Press reports U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy on Friday dismissed a lawsuit filed on behalf of more than two dozen medical marijuana providers in Montana that were raided by federal agents last year. Molloy wrote that even if they are following state law, the providers can be prosecuted under the federal Controlled Substances Act, citing a 2005 U.S. Supreme Court decision that said the Constitution's supremacy clause applies to medical marijuana cases. The attorney representing the medical marijuana providers said a decision on whether to appeal had not yet been made.

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