Proponents of this bill have misleadingly claimed it is about sentences imposed on "children.' In fact, under California law no one under 16 can ever be sentenced to life without parole.
The chaptered bill is here.
A faith healer who beat six followers to death was hanged on Sept. 27, making her only the fourth woman to be executed in Japan since 1950, the Justice Ministry said.
Sachiko Eto, 65, was one of two convicted murderers put to death, taking to seven the number of executions carried out this year.
Eto's punishment was carried out at the Sendai Branch Detention House in northeastern Japan.
The slayings occurred during "exorcism" rituals in Sukagawa, Fukushima Prefecture, in 1994 and 1995. Two of the victims were male. Eto ordered the fatal beatings, which involved blows with heavy wooden sticks used for Taiko drumming, and took part in them with her followers.
Our opponents like to say that retaining the death penalty puts us in the same category as Iran, etc. That is preposterous. If you are going to classify countries by their criminal justice systems, the first-level categorization has to be on fundamental matters of due process of law. Having or not having the death penalty comes considerably lower on the classification tree.
So having due process of law, not punishing people for their religion or speech, and having the death penalty puts us in the same category as Japan. Given a choice between being categorized with Japan or, say, Italy, I'd take Japan any day.
"It's offensive to us the frivolous appeals that were thrown up at the Supreme Court last minute," said Terry Urnosky, whose 22-year-old daughter's death was blamed on Foster and a partner, Sheldon Hale. "One stay after another, just delaying the closure our families sought."* * *
"It wasn't the violent death that both Mary and my daughter experienced," her father said. "I feel it was way too easy, but it is what it is."
Foster blamed Pal's slaying on Ward, one of his Army recruits who became a close friend. Prosecutors said evidence showed Foster actively participated in her death, offered no credible explanations, lied and gave contradictory stories about his sexual activities with her.
I'm gonna take the weeks, gonna have a fine vacation--Eddie Cochran
I'm gonna take my problem to the United Nations
Well I called my congressman and he said "Whoa!"
"I'd like to help you son but you're too young to vote"
Sometimes I wonder what I'm a gonna do
But there ain't no cure for the summertime blues
A new study has revealed almost a third of Scottish criminals are convicted of another offence within a year.
The Scottish Government has highlighted that reconviction rates within 12 months are at their lowest in 13 years at 30.1%.
Figures released by the government on Tuesday also revealed that almost one quarter of offenders convicted of violent crime reoffended within a year.
While 58.4% of offenders who were given a prison sentence of three months or less had another conviction within one year.
Are senior Obama administration officials considering transferring to Egypt a poisonously influential Islamist cleric serving a life term in federal prison for trying to unleash a war of urban terrorism in the United States? That's the impression several officials have given over the past three months, apparently out of fear that if the cleric dies in U.S. custody, American outposts in the Middle East could be overrun by vengeful mobs.
Omar Abdel Rahman, the so-called Blind Sheik, is one of the world's leading theologians of terrorism. Abdel Rahman, who has diabetes and is in his mid-70s, is confined at the U.S. Bureau of Prisons medical facility in Butner, N.C. He served as spiritual adviser to El Sayid Nosair (in connection with the 1990 assassination in Manhattan of Meir Kahane, a right-wing Israeli politician) and to the band of terrorists who carried out the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center that killed six and wounded numerous others (an operation undertaken in part to free Nosair from jail).
Abdel Rahman was convicted in 1995 of participating in a seditious conspiracy that included the Kahane murder, the 1993 WTC bombing, and a plot to blow up other landmarks in New York and to assassinate Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak when he visited the United Nations. I presided over the trial as a U.S. district judge; upon his conviction, I sentenced Abdel Rahman to life in prison.
Why life in prison? Why is this man still alive to be the subject of a release demand? Because Congress inexcusably stalled until 1994, after the crime, to enact the post-Furman/Gregg federal death penalty law.
Millbrook contends that the defendant is liable under the FTCA for the alleged assault on March 5, 2010. Under 28 U.S.C. § 2680(h), the United States is generally not liable for intentional torts of its employees except for certain intentional torts committed by investigative or law enforcement officers. See 28 U.S.C. § 2680. We have limited claims that arise under § 2680(h) to cases in which an intentional tort is committed by a law enforcement or investigative officer while executing a search, seizing evidence, or making arrests for violations of federal law. Pooler, 787 F.2d at 872. Defendant argued that because the alleged assault did not arise out of conduct during an arrest, search, or seizure, Millbrook's tort claim is not cognizable.
Beginning with October Term 2012, the regularly scheduled Order Lists of the Supreme Court of the United States will be released by the Court at 9:30 a.m. rather than at 10 a.m. as had been the previous practice. On days when the Court is in session, the change will provide members of the Supreme Court Bar, the public, and the media an opportunity to review Order Lists before the Court sits at 10 a.m.
Regularly scheduled Order Lists are typically issued on each Monday that the Court sits. On occasion, regularly scheduled Order Lists are issued on days that the Court is not sitting. The issuance of such a list is announced in advance. Miscellaneous orders may be issued in individual cases at any time. Scheduled Order Lists will continue to be posted on the Court's Website (http://www.supremecourt.gov/orders/orders.aspx) immediately following their release by the Court. Miscellaneous orders will continue to be posted on the Website the day of issuance or the next day in the instance of some emergency applications.
The change in practice will go into effect on Tuesday, September 25, 2012.
Today is the "long conference," when the Court considers a big stack of petitions seeking review of lower court decisions, built up over the summer. Look for a short list of cases taken up tomorrow and a long list of cases turned down next Monday. The Cert Pool has the conference list here.
Q: Did you rape both girls or only one girl?What else does anyone need to know? There are three possible answers to this simple question: one, both, or neither. An innocent man would have answered "neither," and the answer would not incriminate him. Clemons's assertion that the answer would tend to incriminate him means that the answer is either "both" or "one," and therefore he is guilty. Q.E.D.
A: Under the advice of counsel, I plead the Fifth.
The new DNA profiles conform to the state's case that Robin Kerry and Julie Kerry endured a group rape on the bridge. DNA with female characteristics extracted from the condom matches DNA with female characteristics extracted from Gray's boxers and pants, according to Stacey Bolinger, DNA analyst for the Missouri Highway Patrol. And according to Kim Gorman, DNA analyst for Paternity Testing Corp. in Columbia, this female DNA is 99.99 percent ("and really many more 9s than that") more likely to be a daughter of the Kerry girls' parents than a random person, according to comparisons to the parents' DNA profiles.
The DNA on both [codefendant Marlin] Gray's shorts and pants was subjected to a process that separates out sperm cells, enabling a separation of male DNA profiles. The male DNA on his shorts contains a mixture of at least two individuals, Bolinger said, and neither Gray nor Clemons could be eliminated from a possible match, based on a comparison to their DNA profiles. She said the male DNA on Gray's pants contains a mixture of at least three individuals, and Gray, Clemons and their codefendant Antonio Richardson could not be eliminated from a possible match.
And then there is this:
On Wednesday, Clemons refused to answer 29 questions from the state on grounds his answer could incriminate him. Initially, he pled the 5th Amendment 32 times, but after Judge Michael Manners encouraged him to meet with counsel to rethink his decision, Clemons answered three of those questions.
Regardless of whether such refusal to answer can be considered as legal evidence (and personally I don't think we need to extend Griffin v. California, 380 U.S. 609 (1965) to habeas proceedings), we can certainly consider it in public policy debates. If Reginald Clemons were an innocent man wrongly convicted, he would be eager to tell the whole truth.
Samuel Mullet Sr., the domineering leader of a renegade Amish sect, and 15 of his followers were convicted on Thursday in Cleveland of federal conspiracy and hate crimes for a series of bizarre beard- and hair-cutting attacks last fall that spread fear through the Amish of eastern Ohio.A TV report from WKYC is here.
After his release [when his 1974 conviction was overturned because of false testimony from a government witness], Brown took the name Shabaka and frequently spoke out against the injustice and finality of the death penalty, including to a U.S. House Judiciary subcommittee in 1993.
Richard Blumenthal, now a U.S. senator from Connecticut, represented Brown on appeal as a volunteer attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. He was in private practice at the time.
Blumenthal said in 1987 that the Brown case changed his view of the death penalty "because it provided such a dramatic illustration of how the system could be fallible and cause the death of an innocent person."
Sen. Blumenthal was right: A fallible system can indeed cause the death of an innocent person. But not in the way Blumenthal (who has been unavailable for comment) would have us believe.
As outrage over the anti-Muslim film "Innocence of Muslims" spreads across the Middle East, police were sent to the California home of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the film's producer, who according to authorities is frightened for his life.
On Proposition 34, which would repeal the death penalty: 30% were certain to vote Yes, 46% were certain to vote No, and 23% were not certain how they would vote. The poll data showed whites, a majority of pro-life voters, and a majority of voters in Greater Los Angeles and the Central Valley opposed the repeal; only the Bay Area and liberals supported the repeal.
At her U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearing, Elena Kagan said she thought it "would be a terrific thing" to have cameras at oral arguments.I stand by my suggestion for minimizing the chance of people trying to make the video bite on the evening news while still providing valuable video of the full argument. Have the arguments recorded by a single camera under the control of the court. Embargo the recording until Saturday morning, and then play it on CSPAN. After that, it's public record.
During an appearance at the University of Michigan Law School on Friday, Justice Kagan said she is having second thoughts, report AnnArbor.com and a press release.
"I have a few worries, including that people might play to the camera. Sometimes you see that when you watch congressional hearings," Kagan said. Another worry, she said, is that a clip will be used out of context.
DNA testing confirms that death row inmate Bobby Lee Hines is guilty of the murder of Michelle Wendy Haupt two decades ago, the Dallas County District Attorney's office said Thursday.
Hines' execution was delayed in May at the request of the DA's office so testing could be performed.
Hines murdered Haupt at her Carrollton apartment in 1991. The DNA tested was found on Haupt's nails.
From the bench, Connelly said that even though he found the commutation of Esteban Núñez "distasteful," "repugnant," and "outside the normal realm...of fundamental justice," he said that the executive authority of the governor gives the office the right to make such decisions.
"It's a discretionary right," Connelly said of the governor's power to commute sentences. He added that the people, through the state constitution, have given the governor the right "to make decisions outside the normal criminal justice process."
That is completely correct. As repugnant as the result is in this case, this is a fundamental separation of powers matter.
With California voters readying to consider whether to retain the death penalty, two prominent district attorneys, including San Mateo County's, are mounting a rebel legal campaign to kick-start executions in San Quentin's long-dormant death chamber.
Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley has been heading the charge, moving in recent months to sidestep legal obstacles that have put executions on hold for nearly seven years and secure execution dates for condemned killers Mitchell Sims and Tiequon Cox.
A military judge Thursday ordered officials to forcibly shave Maj. Nidal Hasan, the Army psychiatrist charged in the shooting rampage at the Fort Hood base here in 2009, a move that probably will delay the start of his trial for weeks as his defense lawyers appeal the ruling.
A few months ago, Hasan's assertion that he grew a beard out of devotion to his Muslim faith seemed a side issue as pretrial hearings were held at a military court on the base. But as a hearing Thursday made clear, the beard - and what Army officials can do about it - has become a complex legal issue that has suspended Hasan's trial indefinitely for the second time in the span of a few weeks.
A study of low-level offenders in Indiana prisons show most are repeat offenders with multiple past convictions and failed attempts at community-based supervision programs.* * *"The results of this are very surprising to me," said State Sen. Greg Taylor, an Indianapolis Democrat who sits on the legislative Criminal Code Evaluation Commission. "It seems prosecutors don't want to send people to the DOC (the Department of Correction) as we might assume."
Findings from the study, conducted by the Center for Criminal Justice Research at Indiana University's Public Policy Institute, were presented to commission members Thursday. The study and its findings are significant. Prosecutors had been blamed for derailing sentencing reform legislation in 2011 that was aimed at cutting state prison costs. The legislation would have diverted low-level offenders out of the state prisons and back into community-based treatment or supervision programs.
Advocates of the plan argued that low-level offenders, especially those accused of theft and drug crimes, are taking up space that should be used for more serious offenders. But prosecutors said the study shows that the class D felons who are behind bars are there for a reason: Because alternatives to prison have failed.
Due to the recognized lack of real world testing, this same laboratory/real world distinction applies to the other facet of the third factor, the existence and maintenance of standards, as well as the fourth factor, general acceptance. There was simply no formal research presented at the Daubert hearing demonstrating how the brain might respond to fMRI lie detection testing examining potential deception about real world, long-term conduct occurring several years before testing in which the subject faces extremely dire consequences (such as a prison sentence) if his answers are not believed. See Fed. R. Evid. 702(c) (requiring expert testimony to be the "product of reliable principles and methods").
JOLIET, Ill. (AP) -- Drew Peterson, the former Illinois police officer who gained notoriety after his much-younger wife vanished in 2007, was convicted Thursday of murdering a previous wife in a case centered on secondhand hearsay statements from both women.
Peterson, 58, sat stoically looking straight ahead and did not react as the judge announced jurors had found him guilty of first-degree murder in the death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. Her relatives gasped, then hugged each other as they cried quietly.
Illinois has no death penalty, and Peterson now faces a maximum 60-year prison term when sentenced Nov. 26.
The trial was the first of its kind in Illinois history, with prosecutors building their case largely on hearsay thanks to a new law, dubbed "Drew's Law," tailored to Peterson's case. That hearsay, prosecutors had said, would let his third and fourth wives "speak from their graves" through family and friends to convict Peterson.
Hearsay is any information reported by a witness that is not based on the witness' direct knowledge. Defense attorneys said its use at the trial would be central to their appeal.
Savio's family members were emotional as they left the courtroom. Her sister, Susan Dorman, threw herself into the arms of her husband, Mitch Dorman.
"Finally, finally, finally. ... We finally got that murdering bastard," Savio's brother-in-law, Mitch Dorman, said.
This is one area where the Supreme Court's rewrite of Confrontation Clause jurisprudence in Crawford v. Washington may actually work to the benefit of the prosecution. It's hard to see the statements in question being "testimonial" within the meaning of Crawford. If a statement is not "testimonial," its admissibility becomes just a matter of state evidence law.
Threats, admiration and reassurances all influence our stress levels, and stress can affect the function of the vagina. But the same could be said for any other organ: stress also affects the heart, the stomach, and even the penis.
What's more, the study Wolf linked to in support of her idea that "a stressful environment can negatively affect vaginal tissue itself" was in rats.
Farmer committed a series of terrible, random crimes in Nevada in the early 1980s. In January 1982, Farmer killed Thomas Kane, a man whose car Farmer had stolen. Then, Farmer robbed and killed a Nevada taxidriver named Greg Gelunas. Farmer fled to Florida, where he was arrested and extradited to Nevada.Today, however, the Ninth Circuit issued this order:
Counsel for Farmer has advised us that Farmer died in prison on April 24, 2012, while a [petition for rehearing en banc] he filed remained pending before this court. Because Farmer did not have the opportunity to exhaust the entire appellate process, including the possible pursuance of a petition for writ of certiorari in the Supreme Court, we order as follows:
1) Our opinion published at 666 F.3d 1228 is hereby vacated; 2) the petition for rehearing and rehearing en banc is denied as moot; and 3) this appeal is dismissed as moot.
If you're going to argue against the death penalty, then argue against the death penalty....
But to argue against the death penalty by stating it's too expensive for California is intellectually dishonest and disrespectful to the victims of the state's most heinous criminals.
Yet that is what proponents of Proposition 34 are doing. The November ballot initiative seeks to repeal California's death penalty law and allow death row inmates to be resentenced to life without parole.
The same people pushing for Proposition 34 - the American Civil Liberties Union, among others - are the ones primarily responsible for California spending too much on death row prisoners in the first place.
Legal delays caused by the ACLU and others are a big reason why California has executed only 13 people since 1978 at a cost of $4 billion.
And yes, those numbers are obscene - just as it's obscene that California has 729 death row inmates.
But Proposition 34 will fail as an argument about money because 68 percent of Californians support the death penalty, according to a 2011 Field Poll.
But a money argument? Who in California believes it anymore when ballot initiatives claim big savings being one "yes" vote away?* * *It's not extremely expensive to house serial killers and child rapists until they die? This is not to mention the horrific stories of people victimized by death row inmates - stories that will be detailed in future columns.
In truth, executions could be sped up if not for the efforts of Proposition 34 proponents.
It would be nice if some of them argued the courage of their convictions before Election Day.
Recidivism, defined as new convictions in this study, was 28.49 percent. This is within the range of 20 to 40 percent found in many other studies (Hanson and Bussiere, 1998; Hanson and Morton-Bourgon, 2005). The current study found that the sample (191 individuals registered as sexual offenders in North Carolina) were at high risk for recidivism for an extended period; however, the greatest risk is during the first several years of tracking. Age was negatively associated with recidivism, but previous convictions had a positive association with recidivism. Registration failures occurred at a rate of 21.51 percent, which doubled the observations from other research (Duwe and Donnay, 2010); (Levenson et al., 2010). Registration failure increased the likelihood of recidivism by 64 percent. The correlates and predictors of recidivism and registration failures are race (Black and White), age, previous convictions, and offender type (adult victims or child victims). All data came from the North Carolina Department of Corrections, North Carolina Sex Offender Registry, and a county sheriff's department. Bivariate analysis and multivariate statistics were used in the study. Study limitations are noted, and implications are drawn for future research. 2 tables, 1 figure, and 28 references.Note the definition of recidivism as new convictions within the 9 year period. While the author considers that to be a "balanced" approach, it significantly understates the actual reoffense rate. A new conviction requires not only a new offense but getting caught and proof beyond a reasonable doubt. The actual number of new offenses is higher, but we don't know how much higher.