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News Scan

Sex Offender Charged with Murder: A New Jersey man classified as a 'moderate' sex offender after kidnapping and sexually assaulting a girl nearly 20 years ago has been arrested and charged with the murders of his cousin and her 10-year-old daughter.  Nicquel Terry of the Asbury Park Press reports that 58-year-old Brian Farmer murdered his cousin after she caught him taking pornographic photos of her 10-year-old foster daughter. Farmer was convicted of aggravated sexual assault and arson in 1996 and was sentenced to 25 years in prison, however, he was released to parole in 2009.

CA Supreme Court Upholds Death Sentence: California's Supreme Court has ruled in favor of upholding the death penalty for convicted double murderer Kelvyn Banks.  Metropolitan News-Enterprise reports that Banks was challenging his sentence based on the claim that he was deprived of his right to a fair trail when he was excluded from the courtroom during the penalty phase.  He was excluded after spitting on the judge and throwing a bag of excrement and urine.  Banks was convicted and sentenced for two separate murders committed in July 1996.

Ruling: Silence May be Used Against You: California's highest court has ruled that a suspect's silence may indicate guilt. Paul Elias of the Associated Press reports that at a vehicular manslaughter trial the prosecutor repeatedly informed the jury that the defendant failed to ask about the victims immediately after crashing into them, which was an indication of his guilt.  The high court agreed ruling that the defendant must explicitly invoke his right to remain silent' in order for his behavior in an interview to be inadmissible in court.

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