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News Scan

Judge: Sex Offender Registry Unconstitutional:  A federal district judge in Denver has ruled that Colorado's sex offender registry violates the Constitution's Eighth Amendment.  Kirk Mitchell of the Denver Post reports that District Judge Richard Matsch found that the registry exposes sex offenders to a "serious threat of retaliation, violence, ostracism, shaming and other irrational treatment from the public; directly resulting from their status as registered sex offenders..."  The judge also announced that the state's registry violates the 14th Amendment due process clause.  The ruling came in a 2013 civil case filed by three sex offenders.

Sheriff's Deputy Killed by Repeat Felon:  A 21-year veteran of the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department was gunned down Wednesday by a habitual felon wanted by both state and federal law enforcement.  The Associated press reports that shooting suspect Thomas Daniel Littlecloud had been sent to prison four times since 2004.  At the time of the shootings, he was on probation (now called "post release community supervision" under California's Realignment), had skipped bail for a federal indictment on four felony charges, and was on the run from Sonoma County bench warrant on drug, firearm and stolen credit card charges.  Around noon Wednesday CHP Officers and Sacramento County Deputies knocked on the door of a room at a Ramada Inn in North Sacramento, where detectives believed an auto theft ring was headquartered.  Littlecloud fired shots from a high-powered rifle through the door, injuring two CHP officers, then fired from a balcony fatally wounding Deputy Robert French, before jumping from the balcony and fleeing in a stolen car.  Littlecloud then led police on a high-speed chase which ended when he crashed into a utility pole near a high school about four miles from the hotel.  He then exited the car and fired on pursuing officers until he was seriously injured by return fire.  Prior to enactment of AB 109 (Realignment), it is highly likely that this murderer's 2013 and 2015 felonies would have put him back in state prison, rather than leaving him loose on streets to kill a police officer.          


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