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News Scan

Supreme Court strikes down Arizona's new Voting Law:  An Arizona voter-approved proposition requiring proof of U.S. citizenship prior to voting registration was overturned today in a 7-2 ruling in the Supreme Court.  Bill Mears of CNN reports that Proposition 200 interfered with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 which forbids states from demanding additional information beyond what is required on the federal voting registration form.  Arizona voters passed Proposition 200 in an attempt to prevent voter fraud.   

Indiana Woman Sentenced to die at 16 to be Released: Indiana's Supreme Court has decided to release 43 year-old Paula Cooper after she was sentenced to death in 1986 at the age of 16.  The Associated Press reports that Cooper's death sentence sparked global protests after she was put on death row for the murder of a Bible school teacher at the age of 15. Cooper, who confessed to the murder, was sentenced to die in the electric chair at the age of 16 making her the youngest inmate in the U.S. on death row. 

Defendant's Challenge Bite Mark Evidence: USA Today reports that a New York judge's ruling later this month could help to end the admissibility of bite mark evidence-a practice not recognized by both the FBI and the American Dental Association.  Supporters of this method cite notorious criminals like Ted Bundy as being convicted through the use of bite mark evidence.   A forensic dentist interviewed for the story noted that  "if the analyst is ... not properly trained or introduces bias into their exam, sure, it's going to be polluted, just like any other scientific investigation. It doesn't mean bite mark evidence is bad."    

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