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CA Supreme Court Upholds Death Sentence:  In a 5-2 decision announced Monday the California Supreme Court upheld the death sentence of a man who killed a Fresno jewelry store owner during a 1996 robbery.  Associated Press writer Sudhin Thanawala reports that the defendant, Vaene Siccongxxay chose a bench trial rather than a jury trial, leaving the judge to decide whether the murder during a robbery made him eligible for a death sentence.  On appeal he claimed that he should have been instructed that he was waving his right to have that decision made by a jury.  The Court held that while the judge did instruct the defendant that by choosing a bench trial he was waving his right to a jury finding in every aspect of his trial and sentencing, after which both the defendant and his attorney agreed to waive those rights, the judge still errored by not specifically saying the this included the finding of the robbery allegation. The Court found that the error was harmless.   

Half of Illegals in Oregon Jails for Sex Crimes:  In a report that may have national implications, statistics from the Oregon Department of Corrections and ICE indicate that nearly half of the illegal aliens held in Oregon jails have been arrested for sex crimes.  Paul Bedard of the Washington Times reports that the crimes involved were rape, abuse, and sodomy, with most of the defendants being held in Salem and Portland area jails.  According to researcher David Olen Cross, over 83% of the illegals held for these crimes were from Mexico.  In a related LA Times story, Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell is taking heat for opposing a "Sanctuary State" bill moving through the state legislature which would prohibit police agencies from cooperating with Immigration officials to identify illegals in local jails for deportation.  

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