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News Scan

Fresno's Overcrowded Jail to Open Another Floor: Kurtis Alexander of the Fresno Bee reports Fresno County Jail will open another floor of the jail as a result of jail overcrowding Saturday. The floor will add another 423 beds for inmates, reducing the number of early releases in response to the rise in Fresno's crime rates. County officials will also begin electronically monitoring all pretrial inmates next week. The remaining closed floor of the jail is expected to open as soon as December, funding permitting.

TX Voter ID Law Rejected: CBS News and the Associated Press headline report that in the case of Texas v. Holder a three-judge federal court panel struck down the Texas Voter ID Law Thursday. Under the law, TX voters would have been required to present a photo ID to cast a ballot this November. The panel ruled the law would burden the poor in the state, particularly racial minorities. Another 3-judge panel in the same federal court is expected to rule on the South Carolina Voter ID Law before the November election.

9th Circuit Cites Batson Error to Overturn Murder Conviction: Steve Eder of the Wall Street Journal reports the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a trial court in the case of CA Death Row inmate Hector Ayala Wednesday. Ayala was convicted and sentenced to death for murdering three people during the commission of an auto shop robbery, although he maintains his innocence. During the 1989 trial, Ayala's attorneys claim that the prosecution dismissed jurors based on their race. The judge in the case heard the prosecutors reasons for striking the jurors but did not reveal them to Ayala or his attorneys. In a divided  opinion authored by Judge Steven Reinhardt, the court ordered that Ayala be released unless he is retried. The prosecution is expected to file an appeal.

IN Sex Offender Registry Violates Ex-Offender Due Process: Maureen Hayden of CNHI News reports a 3-judge federal appeals court panel ruled Indiana's publicly accessible sex offender registry was unconstitutional and violated ex-offender due process rights by not allowing for corrections of mistaken information. The database contains the addresses, pictures, and other personal information of sexual and violent criminals living in the state. The Indiana Department of Corrections allows sexual or violent criminals to challenge registry errors while incarcerated, but not after being released. State legislators are being urged to find a way to correct inaccuracies in the registry.

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