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News Scan

Habitual Felon Charged With Rape:  A habitual felon in South Carolina who has repeatedly received another chance, has been charged with the home invasion and brutal beating and rape of an 85-year-old woman.  Teddy Kulmala of The State reports that 36-year-old Marquille Livingston has had multiple convictions for assault, burglary, and aggravated domestic violence along with numerous misdemeanors, but repeatedly avoided lengthy incarceration and received second, third and fourth chances by the state's criminal justice system. His most recent major offense was for aggravated domestic violence in 2013, which is the state's most severe domestic violence crime, carrying up to 20 years in prison.  Livingston was allowed to plea the charge down to second degree battery, a misdemeanor, and was sentenced to probation and counseling.  Early on February 14, Livingston allegedly forced his way into the elderly women's home, beating and raping her for about an hour, before leaving with her money and watch.  The victim's son discovered her later that morning and called 911.  If Livingston is convicted on all charges he could be sentenced to life in prison.    

DA Seeks Death Penalty For Cop Killer:  The Los Angeles District Attorney will ask for a death sentence for the gang member who gunned down a Whittier police officer last February.  Sarah Parvini of the Los Angeles Times reports that habitual felon Michael Mejia had been jailed and released three times since July 2016 under California's Realignment law and was on probation when he shot and killed his cousin, stole his car, caused an auto accident and murdered responding Officer Keith Boyer. His charges include two counts of murder, attempted murderer, carjacking, and being a felon in possession of a firearm, which include at least three special circumstances making him eligible for a death sentence.   Between October 2016 and February 2017 five California police officers were murdered by habitual felons kept on the streets by the Legislature's "Public Safety Realignment" (AB109) signed in to law in 2011 by Governor Jerry Brown.  One of the murderers was killed by return fire, the others are facing death sentences.

Initiative for Public Safety.  Tulare County, California District Attorney Tim Ward has this op-ed in the Visalia Times-Delta on an initiative to prune back some of the ill-considered and poorly drafted changes that have been made to California criminal law in recent years.   He notes that "non-violent offenders" under these laws include a lot of criminals that most folks would consider violent.

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