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News Scan

Convicted Murderer to be Released: An Arizona man sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder will soon be released after serving only 44 years.  Kelsey Hess of The Republic reports that 62-year-old Ray Chatman was convicted of first-degree murder and armed robbery when he was 17-years-old.  He was originally sentenced to death for the crime, but three years later   a court reduced his sentence to life without the possibility of parole.  Recently a judge agreed to vacate his original conviction in exchange for him pleading guilty to second-degree murder, making him eligible for release.  

Murderer Pleads Guilty to Avoid Death Penalty: A Florida man has agreed to plead guilty to first-degree murder and spend the rest of his life behind bars in order to avoid a possible death sentence.  Daphne Duret of The Palm Beach Post reports that 58-year-old Serge Motti had arranged to meet with the victim for a drug deal, but at the meeting Motti murdered the man and then ran his girlfriend over multiple times before shooting her as well.  Motti was convicted of murder in New York in 1979, but was  paroled and relocated to Florida.   

CA Bill Aimed at First Time Offenders: A California bill awaiting approval from Governor Brown would allow first time offenders convicted of misdemeanors to have their criminal record wiped clean if they agree to plead guilty or no contest to certain crimes. K. Puenta of the Los Angeles Register reports that Assembly Bill 2124 would allow judges to defer sentencing for individuals found guilty of certain 'non-serious' offenses, and if certain conditions are met, the offense would be wiped from the record within a year.  The governor has until the end of the month to either veto the bill or sign it into law.  Governor Brown vetoed a similar bill last year.

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