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DE High Court to hear Death Penalty Arguments:  After a months-long debate, arguments over the constitutionality of Delaware's death penalty will be heard Wednesday by the state Supreme Court.  Matt Bittle of the Delaware State News reports that in Rauf v. State of Delaware, the Public Defender's Officer argues that the state's death penalty statute contradicts the right to a jury trial, while the Department of Justice contends that the law does not violate the U.S. Constitution.  Delaware's capital punishment law has some similarities to Florida's, which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled was unconstitutional in January because it allows the judge to issue a death sentence.  If the court rules that similar portion of Delaware's law unconstitutional, it may not strike down the death penalty entirely; however, if the justices find the law does not comply with the high court's January ruling, capital punishment in the state would be eliminated, at least temporarily, until the legislature adopts a revised  death penalty law.

CA Probationer Almost Hits Cop, Firefighters with Car:  A felony probationer suspected of heroin overdose nearly ran over a Redding police officer and several firefighters with his car last week, before smashing into a parked vehicle and leading the police on an 18-mile chase that ended when he ran out of gas.  Joe Szydlowski of the Redding Record Searchlight reports that police and firefighters responded to a call of a person, Michael Anthony Carter, 25, reportedly overdosing on heroin.  Carter was on probation in a 2013 attempted kidnapping case and was arrested on suspicion of heroin possession and violating his probation just one week before the high-speed chase.  The car that Carter hit during the incident belonged to anti-crime activist Anje Watson, who referenced Proposition 47 and AB 109 when she "thanked" Gov. Jerry Brown and state judges for "the New California."  After surrendering, Carter was arrested on suspicion of felony assault on a peace officer, felony evasion, diving while under the influence, hit and run, possession of heroin, resisting arrest and probation violation.

Judge Upholds Death Penalty for PA Man's Retrial:  A federal judge upheld a District Attorney's authority to seek the death penalty in the upcoming retrial of a Pennsylvania man who was convicted of murdering a young woman over a decade ago.  Phil Ray of the Altoona Mirror reports that last week, U.S. District Judge Kim R. Gibson refused to issue a certificate of appealability to Paul Aaron Ross, convicted of first-degree murder in the 2004 killing of 26-year-old Tina Miller.  In 2011, a retrial was ordered for Ross by the state Superior Court, after which Blair County District Attorney Richard A. Consiglio filed notice that he would seek the death penalty for Ross.  Ross' attorney argued that, because the jury at his 2005 trial did not render a death sentence, seeking the death penalty in his second trial would violate his constitutional right against double jeopardy as he was essentially "acquitted" of a death sentence.  However, another judge who reviewed the request last month held that court decisions permitting the death penalty against Ross at his second trial were "not unreasonable" and cannot be barred. 

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