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News Scan

Man Accused of Killing 4 Violated Parole Repeatedly Without Punishment:  A parolee who repeatedly violated the conditions of his parole has been arrested in Tennessee as a suspect in a quadruple homicide.  Brian Haas of The Tennessean reports that Jacob Allen Bennett failed a drug test, did not pay his court-ordered fees, and did not show for a parole appointment a month before the murders, but parole officers did not issue a arrest warrant until after the bodies of the four victims were discovered near Bennett's home.  Tennessee's supervision of released felons has been under fire since a 2001  performance audit found it inadequate.

Rape Acquittals Spur Calls for Change in Law:  A sex offender accused of raping numerous Baltimore women has been acquitted for the fourth time by the Baltimore City Circuit Court, renewing a debate over whether the law should be changed.   Ian Duncan of the Baltimore Sun reports that victims testified against Nelson Bernard Clifford at each trial, but Clifford insisted  that each sexual encounter was consensual.  State law prohibits character evidence and a defendant's record of committing similar crimes from being admitted in trial.  These limits are being criticized for diminishing a rape victim's chance for justice. 

Prison Realignment May Cause Increase in Crime:  The shooting of a San Diego police officer last week by an ex-con, who was being supervised by California's prison realignment law, is prompting inquiry over whether realignment is causing an increase in crime.  Carlo Cecchetto of CBS News 8 reports that property crime has increased in the two years that realignment took effect.  Additionally, the law has caused overcrowding in local jails, often leaving parole violators in the streets.   

Washington Couple Sentenced to Prison for the Death of Adopted Daughter:  A Washington state couple were sentenced yesterday to decades in prison for the death of the 13-year-old girl they adopted from Ethiopia.  The Associated Press reports that the victim, Hana Williams, was found dead of hypothermia and malnutrition in the backyard of the family home in May 2011.  Carri Williams was sentenced to just under 37 years and her husband, Larry, received nearly 28 years.  Additionally, both were found guilty of assault for punishing their adoptive son, also from Ethiopia.  He testified to being beaten with belts and sticks, and sprayed with a water hose.  He the couple's six biological children have been placed in foster care.

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