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News Scan

California Crime Spiked According to FBI Data: Tom DuHain of KCRA News reports total crime in California increased in the first six months of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011. In Sacramento, violent crime increased 7 percent. Car thefts in the city also jumped a significant 21 percent. A study from the Council of State Governments Justice Center released Tuesday found that 30 percent of the new crimes in Sacramento were committed by parolees and probationers. In other Central Valley cities, violent crime also increased. In Stockton, violent crime rose 25 percent, it jumped by 22 percent in Modesto, and it went up by 8 percent in Fairfield. CJLF's Press Release on the rise in crime in California, mentioned in the article, is here.

CA Appeals Court Rules Against Ethnic Privilege Restrictions: The Associated Press reports a three-judge panel of the California Court of Appeal ruled unanimously Wednesday that Pelican Bay State Prison authorities were wrong in implementing long-term race-based privilege denials. However, the appeals court ruled ethnic classification restrictions could be used during times of riots and emergencies. In 2010, inmate Jose Morales filed a lawsuit alleging certain privileges were denied to him solely based on his ethnicity. For three years following a riot between two rival Hispanic groups, Pelican Bay authorities denied privileges to all Hispanic inmates. The privileges included outside exercise, religious services, and family visits. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation may take the case to the Supreme Court for review.  

PA Killer Holds Mentally Disabled Victims Captive, Kills Two: The Crimesider Staff of CBS News reports federal prosecutors indicted Linda Ann Weston of Philadelphia on charges of holding mentally disabled victims captive over a decade, which resulted in two deaths. Weston collected her victims' Social Security payments, about $212,000. Her charges include murder in the aid of racketeering, kidnapping, forced human labor and hate crimes. Four victims were found confined in the basement of her apartment in October 2011 by her landlord. Between 2001 and 2011, Weston allegedly held six adults and four children who were mentally disabled captive in closets, attics, and basements in multiple states. While in Texas and Florida, two female victims were forced into prostitution. In 2008, a disabled woman living with Weston in Philadelphia died of meningitis and starvation. In 2005, Weston fatally drugged a woman whom she held captive in a laundry room. Three decades ago, Weston was convicted in Philadelphia in the starvation death of a man that she held captive in her apartment. Also indicted were four accomplices, including three men and her daughter. Weston may face the death penalty if convicted.

Alleged Killer of Pregnant Teen May Face OH Death Penalty: Jen Steer of News Net 5 reports alleged killer David Stoddard could face the death penalty in Ohio if convicted in the murder of a 16-year-old pregnant girl. On January 6, Stoddard fatally shot the pregnant teen to death in a home while looking for his ex-girlfriend. He also nonfatally shot a 19-year-old girl in the head. His gun jammed when he attempted to shoot another man. Police also linked Stoddard via DNA to an October home invasion. The homeowner's dog bit him, and Stoddard shot the dog to death. An officer obtained a DNA sample from the dog's mouth. Stoddard was indicted Wednesday for murder, attempted murder, felony assault, robbery and burglary.

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