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News Scan

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of CA Officer: A California police officer who was sued after chasing a suspect onto private property without a warrant has won his appeal after taking the case to the Supreme Court.  Bill Mears of CNN reports that the issue brought before the court was whether or not a homeowner's "expectation of privacy" trumps an officer's ability to pursue a suspect without a warrant.  The case involves a woman who sued the officer for injuries she sustained after being hit in the face by a privacy fence door that the officer knocked down while in hot pursuit of a suspect.  The Supreme Court's ruling is here.

Stanford Study on California's Realignment Law:  A study conducted by the Stanford Criminal Justice Center on  California's two-year-old prison realignment law recommends several changes to alleviate the burden on California counties.  Reza Gostar of the Desert Sun reports that two of these recommended changes include limiting county jail sentences to a maximum of three years and sentencing parole violators to state prison rather than county jail. The study reveals that the state's realignment law, which focused on reducing prison overcrowding, has left thousands of hardened criminals who violate parole in counties instead of sending them prison and supervision on state parole.  

LAX Shooting Rampage Suspect May Face Death Penalty:  The shooting rampage at LAX last Friday which left one TSA agent dead and five others wounded could carry a death sentence for the suspect.  The Associated Press reports that the suspect, 23-year-old Paul Ciancia, told authorities upon his arrest that he acted alone. A note found in Ciancia's duffel bag  discussed killing TSA agents in order to "instill fear" in their "traitorous minds."  Ciancia faces charges of murdering a federal officer and committing violence at a United States airport, both eligible for the death penalty.  He is currently being treated at an L.A. hospital for wounds he sustained during the shooting.

Systematic Problems Found in Arkansas Parole System:  The results of an administrative investigation into the Department of Community Correction conducted by the Arkansas State Police were released by Governor Mike Beebe on Monday.  The Governor cited "detailed and systematic problems within our parole system."  Gavin Lesnick of NWA Online reports that the investigation was ordered after a criminal with a lengthy history of parole violations was arrested for the kidnapping and murder of a teenager just days after being released from prison.  The policies to correct some of the problems, include requiring parolees awaiting a revocation hearing or felony charges to remain behind bars, and requiring jail time for parolees who repeatedly fail to report to a parole officer.

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