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News Scan

More Small Town Crime Due to Realignment: Residents in Lakewood, a small Southern California town, have seen an increase in the amount of burglaries and other property crime in their community since the implementation of Realignment in 2011.  Brittany Woolsey of the OC Register reports that the Lakewood Police Department has been overwhelmed with the increase in burglaries, and officers have been arresting the same people repeatedly for crimes that prior to Realignment, would have earned them time in state prison rather than the overcrowded county jails.  In addition to the increase in burglaries, Lakewood police also reported an increase in robberies.

Justice Dept. to Seek Death Penalty for Boston Bomber: The Justice Department has finally announced they will seek the death penalty against accused Boston Marathon bombing suspect, Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev.  Matt Apuzzo of the New York Times reports that Tsarnaev, who is accused of killing four people and injuring more than 260 others, has pled not guilty but has admitted to having some involvement with the attack.  Since the federal government reinstated the death penalty in 1988, it has only executed three people, including Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

NY Will Settle Stop-And-Frisk Lawsuit: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has revealed that an agreement has been reached between the city and civil rights lawyers over issues surrounding the NYPD's stop-and-frisk policies.  Benjamin Weiser of the New York Times reports that the policy will be reformed and a federal monitor will oversee the stop-and-frisk practices after a federal judge ruled that police officers were using the stops as a form of racial profiling.  The federal monitor will be in charge of overseeing policy changes and developing training materials to better train officers on the issue of racial profiling.

Obama to Commute More Drug Sentences: The Justice Department has announced a plan to expand upon President Obama's efforts to commute the sentences of low-level drug offenders in order to release them from prison.  Maya Rhodan of Time Magazine reports that the Obama administration has been working the last few years on sentencing guidelines and the handling of so-called low-level drug offenders, focusing primarily on the sentencing disparities between crack and powder cocaine.  In order for an inmate to be eligible for early release, they must be a non-violent offender with no connections to large scale drug organizations.

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