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News Scan

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CO Sees Spike in Marijuana Use Among Children:  CBS reports that following Colorado's legalization of recreational marijuana use, a drug testing company is finding a sharp increase in use among minors. Drug testing company Conspire says it is being called to test students for marijuana use in one CO school district weekly now instead of monthly. The drug testing methods have changed as well, requiring lab analysis to determine the level of THC, marijuana's active ingredient, in a user. The potency of the drug in student users has increased since the law passed. Whereas levels were typically found at 50 to 100 nanograms, tests are now showing students with levels as high as 800 nanograms of THC in their system.

Appeals Court Restores Death Penalty for CA Killer:  Bob Egelko of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that a federal appeals court restored the death sentence Thursday for Marvin Walker. It had been overturned in 2011. The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overruled U.S. District Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong's prior ruling that Walker's knee shackle when testifying improperly influenced the jury's decision. The reinstatement of his conviction passed 3-0 and his death sentence was reinstated 2-1. Continued from this News Scan.

CA Sex Offenders Removing GPS, No Fear of Prison:  Mike Luery of KCRA 3 reports sex offenders removing their GPS monitoring devices have no fear of punishment under AB109. According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, in the 15 months after Realignment, 2,706 sex offenders removed their GPS tracking devices, compared to 2,346 in the 15 months prior. An anonymous sex offender cites the current consequences, serving 30 days in a county jail, as a risk that sex offenders are willing to take. He notes that jail is often avoided altogether due to overcrowding. Continued from this News Scan.

Death Penalty on the Table for WY Killers:  The Associated Press reports that prosecutors are considering seeking the death penalty for Tanner Vanpelt, 18, and Stephen Hammer, 19, in Wyoming. The two teenagers allegedly stole a pair of handguns from a firearms store. They then fatally shot Ildiko Freitas, and her parents Janos and Hildegard Volgyesi, during a robbery. They stole her SUV and fled the scene. Vanpelt and Hammer are each charged with conspiracy, use of a deadly weapon, premeditated murder, and murder in the course of a robbery.

Federal Prosecutor Seeks Death Penalty for TN Postal Killer:  Adrian Sainz of the Associated Press reports that a federal prosecutor will seek the death penalty for former prison guard Chastain Montgomery, 48. Montgomery is charged with the fatal shootings of federal workers Paula Robinson and Judy Spray in the course of robbing a Tennessee post office with his son in October 2010. No trial date has been set, but a hearing to address Montgomery's mental competency is set for September.

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