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News Scan

Prosecutors Seeking Death Sentence for Inmate:  An inmate at a high-security federal prison in Kentucky is facing a possible death sentence for the murder of a fellow prisoner. Brett Barrouquere of The Associated Press reports that the charged inmate, John Travis Millner, has a history of violence in and out of prison, and this is not the first incident of acting violently towards other inmates and prison employees. Millner is already serving a life sentence for another murder that took place in 2002. He is awaiting his arraignment on Tuesday.

UK Seeks to End Inmate Early Release:  New government plans are underway in the United Kingdom, plans which would eliminate the automatic early release of inmates jailed for child rape and certain terror offenses. The British Broadcasting Corporation reports that instead of being released automatically on license, the affected inmates who wish to be freed early must prove to the Parole Board that they are no longer a danger to society. Though lawfully sound, some critics are worrisome of the burden such a policy would place on an already overwhelmed Parole Board.

Attitude Shift 20 Years After Death of Polly Klass
:  Twenty years after the kidnap and murder of 12-year-old Polly Klaas, public attitudes concerning stranger abductions and the three strikes law are reportedly softening. Kevin Fagan of SF Gate reports that a 50 percent drop in the crime rate against children since 1993, as well as a feeling from some members of society that the three strikes law was too severe are among the reasons for this evident shift in attitudes. Proposition 36 has ended life sentences for offenders whose third strike was not violent or serious, which has shown to lower the rate of reoffending compared to other newly freed prisoners; but some individuals, including Polly's father Marc Klaas, are still proponents of the law's original policies that sentence any third-time felon to life in prison.

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