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News Scan

Judge Decides Zimmerman Jury can Consider Manslaughter: The jury in George Zimmerman's second-degree murder case will now be able to convict him on the lesser charge of manslaughter when they begin their deliberations.  AP writers Mike Schneider and Kyle Hightower report that defense attorney Don West fought hard against the manslaughter charge being added so late in the trial, and believes that the jury should only be given two options; guilty of second-degree murder, or acquittal.  The prosecution had also asked for a third-degree murder charge to be an option as well based on the premise that Zimmerman committed child abuse when he killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, but the judge refused to allow it. 

California to Switch to One-Drug Executions
: California has ended legal efforts to enforce a three-drug method for lethal injections, and will now focus on a single-drug execution proposal.  Maura Dolan of the Los Angeles Times interviewed CJLF Legal Director Kent Scheidegger for this story and reports that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation will no longer challenge a previous appeals court ruling that blocked the three-drug method.  The last execution carried out in California was in 2006.

Saudi Princess Arrested in California on Human Trafficking Charge: Southern California police charged Meshael Alayban, a Saudi princess, with felony human trafficking for allegedly holding a woman against her will and forcing her to work at Alayban's home.  The Associated Press reports that the woman was hired in Kenya and brought to California by Alayban, along with four other women from the Philippines.  California voters passed a ballot measure last November aimed at increasing penalties in human trafficking cases, if convicted, Alayban faces up to 12 years in prison. 

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