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News Scan

Judge Awards Over $700K to Transgender Killer's Attorneys: Milton J. Valencia of the Boston Globe reports Chief U.S. District Judge Mark L. Wolf announced Thursday he will award the lawyers of convicted killer Michelle Kosilek more than $700,000 in legal fees. Kosilek is transgender, and sued the state to be given sex reassignment surgery. As reported in this News Scan, Judge Wolf had granted Koselik's request for the operation. The decision was appealed by the state of Massachusetts.  (USCA1 No. 12-2194.)  As this News Scan explains, the surgery would cost taxpayers about $20,000. Kosilek, known as Robert at the time of the killing, was convicted in 1990 of murdering his wife. He has since undergone hormone treatments and currently lives in an all male prison as a woman. The state Department of Corrections argued the hormone treatment is adequate, so his Eighth Amendment right is not being violated.

AZ Jury Recommends Death For Father That Killed His Kids: The Associated Press reports the jury in the case of Andre LeTeve recommended the death penalty in Arizona Thursday. The same jury convicted LeTeve of the March 31, 2010 shooting his two sons, ages 1 and 5, to death.  LeTeve also attempted to commit suicide before calling the police to report the killings.  He was going through a divorce and facing financial ruin at the time of the murders.

UT Company's Bulletproof Backpack Sales Skyrocket: CBS Los Angeles reports a Utah-based company called Amendment II has sold out of bulletproof Ballistic Backpacks for girls, boys, and teen/young adults following the Connecticut school shooting last Friday. The demand by customers on the online store has actually caused the company's site to crash multiple times. The backpacks have a carbon nanotube lining.  They cost $300 a piece and are slightly heavier than a regular backpack. The company also sells children's tactical vests and adult designer armor.

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