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Death Sentence Overturned Because 3 Murders Not Especially Heinous: The Associated Press reports the Arizona Supreme Court on Tuesday threw out the death sentences of James Granvil Wallace, who killed his girlfriend and her two children in 1984, ruling that the murders don't meet the legal requirement for being heinous or depraved because "the State has not established beyond a reasonable doubt that Wallace inflicted gratuitous violence on the two victims." Wallace had waited behind the front door for each of his victims to return home separately. When his girlfriend's 16-year-old daughter arrived home first, Wallace attacked her from behind, slamming a baseball bat into her head at least ten times with so much force that the bat broke. Still alive, Wallace dragged her into the bathroom and rammed the broken bat into her neck, down her chest cavity, and out her back. When the 12-year-old boy arrived home shortly after, Wallace bludgeoned him about ten times with an 18-inch pipe wrench, crushing his skull. When Wallace's girlfriend arrived home a couple of hours later, he used the same pipe wrench to kill her, hitting her in the head four or five times. His two death sentences for killing his girlfriend's children were vacated, and the court imposed two sentences of life in prison on top of the life sentence Wallace is already serving for killing his girlfriend. The court's opinion is here.

Suspect in Murder of 5 Should Have Been Deported in 2006: Kevin Fagan, Henry K. Lee, and Justin Berton of the San Francisco Chronicle report the suspect in last week's killing of five people in San Francisco should have been deported back to Vietnam in 2006. After serving eight years in prison for robbery and assault, Binh Thai Luc was taken into custody by federal agents and a judge ordered him deported. Since Vietnamese authorities did not provide the appropriate travel documents, Luc had to be released under the terms of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in which undocumented immigrants must be released after six months if their country of origin will not allow their return. Police Chief Greg Suhr said the victims - a couple in their 60s, their adult daughter and son, and their son's girlfriend - were bludgeoned and attacked with an "edged weapon." Luc is being held on suspicion of five counts of homicide and one count of use of a deadly weapon.

Sacramento Police Warn of Increase in Aggressive Robberies: KCRA reports there has been an increase in aggressive, strong-armed robberies across both the city and county of Sacramento. "These are dangerous crimes (with a) lot of violence potential," said Captain James Maccoun, of the Sacramento Police Department. In the city, these types of robberies are up 75 percent compared to last year. "These are stick-ups with guns -- multiple suspects," said Maccoun. The incidents are mostly taking place in liquor and convenience stores.

Washington State Weighs Prison Overcrowding, Budget Shortfalls: Jennifer Sullivan of The Seattle Times reports the Washington state Department of Corrections says some prisons are facing extreme overcrowding issues after the recent closures of three prisons in the state, as well as a spike in incoming inmates. At one prison, officials announced all single-inmate cells will now house two inmates to give the prison system new beds. The state had planned to open a new prison by 2016, but due to the state's $1 billion budget shortfall, the opening has been pushed back until at least 2018. Reopening closed facilities is not an option because the costs would be too high. The Department of Corrections has already reduced spending through layoffs, prison closures, program reductions, and administrative costs, including the elimination of community-corrections positions after two recent state laws decreased the number of offenders the agency supervises. Department of Corrections officials say since the cuts have changed who gets incarcerated, the typical inmate in the state now is more mentally ill, more violent, more likely to belong to a street gang, more likely to be a sex offender, and highly drug addicted.

Glasses Latest in Criminal Defendant Strategic Attire: Kieth L. Alexander of The Washington Post reports non-prescription "hipster" or "personality" glasses are becoming popular courtroom attire for criminal defendants. "This goes beyond shirts and ties," says Richard Waites, chief executive of a jury consulting firm. "Jurors expect to see defendants wearing those." "If you're wearing glasses, you don't look like what people might expect a criminal to look like," said Chicago-based jury consultant Trent Kelso. Some defense attorneys, though, think it makes their clients look more guilty and suggests they are trying to hide.

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The AZ Supreme Court's opinion caricaturizes the legalisms involved with the ridiculous DP "jurisprudence" that has arisen from the Supreme Court's pronouncements.

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