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News Scan

NorCal Forum on Realignment:  Sean Longoria of the Record Searchlight reports  that a forum was held Monday in Redding to discuss prison realignment. It was hosted by social service leaders and law enforcement officers. Both Redding and Shasta County have experienced simultaneous increases in property crimes and dwindling jail space. Redding Police Chief Rob Paoletti expressed frustration with Realignment. His department makes 22 arrests daily. Many of those arrested are repeat offenders released under AB109. One man was arrested and released, almost three dozen times, in only eight months. Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko added that the number of inmates serving long-term jail sentences has increased from about 10 percent to 35 percent.

AZ Killer Sentenced to Death:  Jim Seckler of the Mojave Daily News reports that killer Darrell Bryant Ketchner, 55, was sentenced to death by jurors Monday in Arizona. Ketchner had been convicted of the July 4, 2009 stabbing murder of 18-year-old Ariel Allison.  He was also found guilty of the attempted murder of her mother, Jennifer Allison, and three counts of assault. Ketchner stabbed Jennifer, his ex-girlfriend, inside her home then shot her with her own gun on the driveway as she attempted to flee. Ariel, found in her mother's bedroom, was fatally stabbed eight times in her head, her back, and front. He will be formally sentenced at a hearing on April 29. According to this article by the Associated Press, Ketchner and Allison had three children together. He had been arrested for domestic violence six months prior.

Safety Concerns Increase for Prison Workers:  The Associated Press reports that safety concerns for correctional officers are growing. Corrections administrators, prison guards, and wardens have been targeted by released convicts. The increased influence of prison gangs and communication among members both on the streets and in prison is endangering corrections professionals. The murder of Colorado prisons chief Tom Clements on March 19 is mentioned in this News Scan.

CA Inmate Lawsuit Given Go-Ahead:  Bob Egelko of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the class-action lawsuit on behalf of 1,000 Secure Housing Unit inmates in Pelican Bay State Prison was approved by Chief U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken Thursday. The inmates claim the state is violating their constitutional rights by withholding opportunities to get out of solitary confinement. The state denies these claims. The suit seeks to limit SHU confinement to a 10 year maximum and requirements for better conditions and regular reviews. Discussed further in this News Scan.

CT Supreme Court to Consider Death Row Lawsuit:  The Associated Press reports the Connecticut Supreme Court will hear argument on whether the state's repeal of the death penalty in cases after April 24, 2012 is in violation of the rights of the state's 11 inmates already on death row. The lawsuit was brought by Eduardo Santiago, sentenced to death for the murder of a West Hartford man. The case will be heard sometime after April 15.

Iowa House Approves Expanded DNA Collection:  The Associated Press reports the Iowa House approved a measure 79-18 Monday to expand DNA collection to offenders charged with aggravated misdemeanors. Currently, samples are taken only from sex offenders and convicted felons. The bill will now go to the state Senate. Continued from this News Scan.

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