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News Scan

Woman Charged With Leaking NSA Documents:  A 25-year-old woman has been charged with leaking national security secrets to the press.  Derek Hawkins of the Washington Post reports that Reality Leigh Winner was arrested last Saturday for transmitting secret national security information to a news organization.  The leaked information was related to attempted Russian hacking of a voting software supplier.  Winner, an employee at Pluribus International, a government contractor, had access to top secret information.  According to the FBI, in late May she printed out the top secret document and mailed it to a reporter at the leftist news outlet, The Intercept.

CA Supreme Court Upholds Death Sentence:  The California Supreme Court ruled Monday to uphold the death sentence given to Gerald Parker for the brutal murders of five women and one unborn child.  The Orange County Register reports that Parker, a habitual felon known as the "Bedroom Basher," was convicted of the home invasion rapes and murders of the Orange County women between 1978 and 1979 but was not tied to the crimes until DNA testing identified him in 1996.  A pregnant woman who survived being raped by Parker lost the child because of the assault.  The high court's 5-3 decision rejected claims by Parker that he was too intoxicated to be held responsible, that police violated his Miranda rights, that blacks were excluded from the jury, and that the victim impact statements were too emotional.

Oral Argument on CA Death Penalty Reform:  Maura Dolan of the Los Angeles Times reports on the California Supreme Court's oral argument today in Briggs v. Brown, the facial challenge to Proposition 66, the death penalty reform initiative adopted by the voters last November.  The reporter felt that the court was divided on whether or not a majority of justices would vote to uphold the measure.  One point of contention during the argument was the initiative's five-year time limit for the state appeal of a conviction and death sentence.  Counsel for the opposition argued that the time limit was only included in the measure to curry public support and was actually unachievable.  Arguing for the proponents, CJLF Legal Director Kent Scheidegger noted that the time limit was not the centerpiece of the initiative's broad reform of the state's death penalty process, but rather a goal which the courts should try to achieve through implementation of the several changes the initiative requires. 

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