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News Scan

DOJ Rejects Texas Voter ID Law:  Julian Aguilar of The Texas Tribune reports the U.S. Department of Justice has rejected Texas' application for preclearance of its voter ID law. A Justice Department spokeswoman said, "The department's letter states that Texas did not meet its burden under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of showing that the law will not have a discriminatory effect on minority voters, and therefore the department objects to the Texas voter identification law." The bill requires voters to present a state-issued photo ID before casting a ballot. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed suit against the Justice Department to have the state's voter ID law implemented immediately. The Justice Department has until April 9 of this year to respond to the state's lawsuit, which Abbott says his office will drop if preclearance is granted.

Text-Messaging Woman Gets 5-Years for Vehicular Manslaughter: Andy Furillo of the Sacramento Bee reports Sequoia Monay Jones, 22, was sentenced today to five years in state prison for text-messaging while driving, which resulted in the death of Robert Wilson, 64, who was knocked off his motorcycle by Jones and then hit by another car. Jones also admitted to fleeing the scene. Deputy District Attorney Tan Thinh said he is not aware of any other case in Sacramento County in which text messaging had been implicated in a fatal traffic wreck. It is likely that this will not be the only case in which text-messaging results in a fatal collision.

Decrease of Illegal Immigrants, Increase in Other Crimes:
The New York Times reports the number of illegal immigrants crossing into Arizona and other border states has declined. In 2005, 1.1 million migrants were apprehended, in comparison to about 340,000 in 2011. Furthermore, the number of migrant smugglers' drop houses being found in Arizona have decreased dramatically. However, there has been an almost quadruple increase in the number of assaults federal officers face from illegal migrants, from being hit by rocks to shootings. In 2008, there were about 117 assaults on officers, while in 2011 the number soared to nearly 500.

California Prisons Still Face High Demand for Medical Care Despite Realignment: Julie Small of KPCC News reports despite realignment lowering the California prison population, most of the convicts in need of medical care are older and still serving sentences for having committed violent, serious, or sexual felonies. For example, California State Prison Solano in Vacaville is home to 1,500 inmates over the age of 50. Solano Prison also has about 3,000 total inmate patients with chronic diseases. Federal Receiver Clark Kelso, appointed to oversee medical care in California prisons, predicts half of the inmates in state prisons will suffer from chronic diseases or serious mental disorders within the next decade. With the aging of inmates in prison for life, as well as second- and third-strikers, comes the progression of diseases and disorders, a need for more expensive treatments, and an increase in demand for medical care.

Reamore here: http://blogs.sacbee.com/crime/archives/2012/03/woman-gets-5-years-for-text-messaging-vehicular-manslaughter.html#storylink=scinlineshare#storylink=c

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