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News Scan

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WY Bill Would Eliminate Life Without Parole: Ben Neary of the Associated Press reports on proposed legislation by Wyoming Senator Bruce Burns, introduced Thursday that would eliminate life without parole sentences in Wyoming. This would apply to future cases and would grant the governor the option to shorten sentences for inmates currently serving LWOP. Wyoming inmates serving this sentence are first-degree murderers and/or repeat sex offenders. Burns argues that the LWOP prison population is aging, and the state will be responsible for the higher cost for their medical care. His plan is "basically get rid of the state's responsibility for these people." Cheyenne District Attorney Scott Homar opposes the bill, noting that for some offenders, particularly repeated sex offenders, life without parole is the only appropriate sentence. Wyoming has the death penalty.

NY Passes Gun Laws, Overlooks Officers: Michael Virtanen of the Associated Press reports on a new gun control bill passed Friday in New York. The bill passed in the Senate 43-18 Monday night, and cleared the Assembly 104-43 Tuesday. New York Governor Cuomo had issued a special waiver so the bill could be passed without the usual three days for lawmaker and public review in order stop the gun buying spree in the city. The law reduces maximum magazine capacity from ten to seven rounds and reclassifies some previously legal semiautomatic rifles as illegal but allows owners who had the previously legal guns to keep them if they register with police within a year. However, Jim Hoffer of Eyewitness News reports the new law neglected to exempt most NY law enforcement officers who handguns have a 15 round capacity. In March, it will be illegal to have a gun that holds more than seven rounds. The Patrolman's Benevolent Association President said Friday that changes to the law to provide both active and retired officer exemptions are in the works. State Senator and former New York Police Department Captain Eric Adams is seeking an amendment to implement the exemptions next week. Continued from this News Scan.

Ex-New Orleans Mayor Indicted for Corruption: The Associated Press reports that former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin (D) was indicted Friday on 21 counts of corruption. Among the charges are bribery, conspiracy, filing false tax returns, money laundering, and wire fraud. Nagin was first elected Mayor in 2002, then reelected in 2006.  In a speech a year after Hurricane Katrina, Nagin predicted New Orleans would become a "chocolate city" and that the hurricane was a result of God being mad at America.  During his second term, rebuilding after the disaster was painstakingly slow and violent crime increased across the city. During the rebuilding, a City Hall corruption investigation began. To date, two former city officials and two businessmen have pleaded guilty to charges of corruption. 

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