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News Scan

CA Jails Filling Up Under AB 109: Luke Money of the Signal reports county jails in California are expected to reach capacity soon as a result of Gov. Brown's Realignment. CJLF President Michael Rushford said levels of crime will increase with more inmates being transferred from state prisons to jails. Los Angeles County Assistant Sheriff Cecil Rhambo told supervisors that by October of this year, the volume of inmates moved to the county under AB 109 has pushed the population of county jails to 19,000 of the 22,700 capacity. The county receives about 600 transfers every month, and releases about 550 on parole. By the time Realignment is complete, another 8,000 prisoners will be in the county.

Prop 34 Will Reduce Chances to Overturn Convictions: Maura Dolan has this story in the Los Angeles Times discussing that death row inmates oppose Proposition 34 because they would be provided less legal assistance and would no longer be provided lawyers for habeas corpus petitions. Kent Scheidegger, legal director of CJLF, said inmates sentenced to death have a better chance of overturning their convictions than those serving life without parole. Since 1978, California has only executed 13 on death row. According to an informal survey of current death row inmates, many of them would rather gamble on being executed someday than have their attorneys that are provided by the state taken away. About 14 of the 735 inmates on the state's death row have exhausted all appeals.

OH Finds DNA Can Be Kept Indefinitely, Guilty or Not: Kate Irby of the Plain Dealer reports that on Thursday, the Ohio Supreme Court unanimously ruled DNA obtained from a suspect by the state can be kept indefinitely regardless of the suspect's guilt.  Dajuan Emerson was accused of raping the 7-year-old daughter of his girlfriend in 2005. Emerson provided a DNA sample but the seminal fluid found on the girl did not contain DNA that could be matched. Emerson did not seek to remove his DNA profile from the database. In 2007, a woman was found murdered, stabbed 74 times in the body, neck, and torso. DNA was found at the scene on a door handle that did not belong to the victim. The DNA was a match to Emerson. He tried to have the DNA evidence suppressed as an unreasonable search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment, but the court unanimously decided in this opinion that law enforcement officials did not need to obtain a warrant before obtaining a DNA sample. Emerson was sentenced to 25 years to life.

MI Murder Suspect Has History of Attacking, Killing Women: The 24 Hour News 8 Staff reports John White, arraigned Thursday in Michigan for first-degree murder, has an extensive history of hurting and killing women. White admitted he attacked and killed a woman in her trailer on Wednesday. He told police where the victim's body could be found. In 1981, White was convicted of stabbing his 17-year-old neighbor 14 times in her chest and back. He served 2 years of his 5-10 year sentence. In 1995, White pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the disappearance and death of the 26-year-old woman he was having an affair with. Her body, discovered six weeks after she disappeared, was so badly decomposed that no cause of death could be established. White said it was an accident, though he never explained what happened. He served 12 years for that killing. White is set to be back in court Nov. 8.

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