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News Scan

CA Supreme Upholds Death Sentence: In a 6-1 decision, the California Supreme Court upheld the death sentence for a convicted murderer who was forced to wear a stun belt during his trial.  Maura Dolan of the Los Angeles Times reports that Jonathan Jackson was appealing his sentence based on the claim that the fear of being electrically shocked by the belt during trial negatively affected his demeanor in front of jurors, resulting in a guilty verdict.  The justices ultimately sided with the prosecution, noting that there was no evidence to suggest that jurors knew Mr. Jackson was wearing the stun belt under his clothing.

FL Considering Tougher Sexual Predator Bills: A package of bills that would crack down on sexual predators is before the Florida state senate on its first day in session.  Tonya Alanez and Dana Williams of the Sun-Sentinel report that the bills are designed to toughen sex-crime sentences, increase community monitoring after release, and keep more of the most dangerous predators incarcerated after their prison terms end.  Another bill would create a 50-year minimum sentence for anyone convicted of raping children, the developmentally disabled or the elderly.

Convicted Killer Denied Clemency: The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board has rejected the clemency request of convicted murderer and death row inmate, Charles Frederick Warner.  The Associated Press reports that Warner was convicted of rape and first-degree murder in the death of his girlfriend's 11-month-old daughter in 1997.  He is scheduled to be executed March 27.

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