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News Scan

Ohio Lawmaker Wants to Expand Death Penalty Charges: An Ohio lawmaker is seeking to expand the state's death penalty law to include some sex-related crimes after the case of Ariel Castro--who held three women captive for more than ten years--made national headlines.  The Associated Press reports that the proposal, which was filed on Friday, would allow an individual to be sentenced to death in cases of rape, sexual battery, and sexual contact with a minor if the suspect has been previously convicted of a sex crime.  Ariel Castro was sentenced earlier this month to life in prison, plus 1,000 years for kidnapping and repeatedly raping the three women over the span of ten years.

California Bill Would Give Juvenile Offenders A Second Chance: Inmates who were convicted of serious crimes prior to turning 18 will have a chance to be released from prison early if California bill SB260 is passed by the Legislature.  Don Thompson of the Associated Press reports that the bill would allow inmates convicted of serious crimes to be eligible for parole after serving 15 years of their sentence unless they are believed to be a threat to public safety.  Roughly 5,700 of California's 133,000 adult inmates are currently incarcerated for crimes they committed as juveniles.  

NY Mayor Defends Stop and Frisk Policy: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg defends his city's police department and claims to have the safest big city in the country in an opinion article written in today's Washington Post.  Bloomberg stands by his city's police officers and explains that out of the several million stops conducted by the NYPD over the last decade, only 19 of them were found to be unjustified.  Last week, a federal judge ordered the NYPD to implement changes in their stop and frisk policy based on her belief that stops were being conducted as a result of racial profiling.

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