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News Scan

Texas Crime Up After Immigration Surge: A group of non-paid police officers are volunteering in Brooks County, Texas to help  gain control of an area overwhelmed by the recent illegal immigration from South America.  Bob Price of Breitbart Texas reports that Brooks County is a popular area for immigrants to enter the U.S., and police there are dealing with increased rapes and  sexual assaults upon women illegally crossing the boarder.  Local law enforcement has also been engaged in several vehicle pursuits causing damaged property and injuries. 
CA High Court Upholds Death Sentence: California's Supreme Court has upheld the death penalty for a man convicted of two murders occurring in 1994 and 1995.  City News Service reports that attorneys for Robert Carrasco challenged his sentence claiming that he was not given a fair trial because the judge denied his request for a second attorney and allowed evidence of of Carrasco's escape from jail prior to trial.  While the high court affirmed Carrasco's death sentence, it struck the "especially heinous, atrocious and cruel"  special  circumstance. 

New Law Allows Parole for Murderer: An Alabama man convicted of murder as a juvenile has been sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 15 years, under a new sentencing law that took effect in January 2014.  Kent Faulk of AL.com reports that 18-year-old Shirell Smith was convicted and sentenced to prison for a murder he committed at the age of 16.  He is among the first murderers sentenced under the state's new guidelines which allows judges to give juveniles convicted of aggravated murder life with the possibility of parole (LWOP).  The new law responds 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Miller v. Alabama announcing that laws mandating LWOP for juvenile murderers were unconstitutional.

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