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News Scan

PA Judge Supports Voter I.D. Law: Dan Burns of Reuters reports Pennsylvania Commonwealth Judge Robert Simpson  rejected an effort by the NAACP and the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania to block the PA voter I.D. law Wednesday, supporting the argument that the law is needed to prevent fraud and non-citizen voting. The civil rights groups argued the law would promote discrimination against minority voters and be a hurdle to those without an acceptable form of identification. PA is one of 11 states to pass voter I.D. laws since 2010. Civil rights groups are expected to appeal. 

Too Much Evidence Causes Dropped Drug Charges: Ryan J. Foley of the Associated Press reports the Iowa case against fugitive doctor Armando Angulo has been dropped by the U.S. Attorney because the huge volume of evidence is too expensive to maintain.  Angulo was indicted in 2007 for illegally approving thousands of pain and diet pills, and other controlled substance prescriptions via internet pharmacies without ever examining, communicating with, or verifying his patients. The 9 year investigation has collected more than 2TB of data and 400,000 documents. Angulo's prescriptions cost Medicaid over $6.5M over 6 years and led to many addictions. However, Angulo fled to his home country of Panama in 2004, which refuses to extradite him. Angulo is still wanted in Florida on separate charges including Medicaid fraud and narcotics.

Fort Hood Shooting Suspect Cannot Plead Guilty: Kari Huus of NBC News headlines reports that Maj. Nidal Hasan, who is charged with the November 2009 Fort Hood spree sought a guilty plea today on 13 counts of murder.  The military judge presiding over the case rejected the plea noting that the government is pursuing the death penalty.  Hasan claimed that his Muslim faith required him to plead guilty.  Under military law, no one who faces the death penalty may plead guilty. The trial had been scheduled to begin Monday, but was delayed for the fifth time because Hasan refused to shave his beard to comply with military law due to his faith. The hearing Wednesday began with yet another contempt charge and a $1000 fine for Hasan for appearing to court unshaven.

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