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Spring Break Shooting Prompts Debate About Restrictions:  A spring break house party on the Florida Panhandle that erupted with gunfire and left seven people injured has prompted officials to consider cracking down on the out of control spring break season.  "This is what we've been trying to warn people about," said Bay County Sheriff Frank McKeithen. Until the shooting, the Sheriff's warnings had been ignored by most local officials.  Melissa Nelson-Gabriel and Matt Sedensky of the AP report that Panama City Beach's city council has allocated up to $200,000 to contribute to increased police patrols, discussed the implementation of an alcohol ban on beaches, as well as making the last-call on alcohol sales earlier.  The shooter, David Jamichael Daniels, was arrested and charged with seven counts of attempted murder.

Bill to Grant New Orleans DA Investigators Arrest Powers:  The city of New Orleans continues to surge with violent crime, leading a local state lawmaker to propose new legislation that would grant the Orleans Parish District Attorney's office more law enforcement authority, allowing the NOPD to focus on fighting crime.  Sabrina Wilson of Fox 8 WVUE reports that HB 179, created by Rep. Austin Badon, would give DA investigators arrest powers, which is the only element of authority that they currently don't share with police officers.  The district attorney supports the idea.

Bill Criminalizes Disclosure of Police and Military Personnel's Residences:  Pennsylvania state senator Lisa Boscola has proposed legislation that would make it a crime to disclose the home addresses of police officers and military personnel.  Jim Deegan of Lehigh Valley Live reports that disclosure would be classified as a third-degree misdemeanor and would apply to social media.  Given the dangerous and sensitive nature of both law enforcement and military duties, Boscola believes, once the bill is passed, it will protect them and their familes from harassment and potential violence.

COPPS Unit Successfully Targets Property Crime:  The implementation of a specialized unit last year in Columbus, Indiana called Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving, or COPPS, allows police to focus on problem areas in the city.  Teresa Mackin of Wish TV reports that the unit doesn't take patrol calls during their shifts, which allows for more in-depth investigations and the opportunity to act proactively in an effort to target repeat offenders.  Chief of Police Jonathan Rohde says property crime has decreased in areas the unit has worked.

Immigrant Gang Arrests Decline Under Obama's Policies:  Arrests of immigrant gang members has been in rapid decline since 2013, raising concern about whether the Obama Administration regards international gang activity as a priority.  Caroline May of Breitbart reports that gang activity and the number of immigrant gang members has not declined.  South Texas Border Patrol agents' say that an increasing number of MS-13 gang members have been crossing the border since 2011.  Jessica Vaughn, an expert for the Center for Immigration Studies, emphasizes the need for greater immigration enforcement, but points out that the Obama Administration's policies, such as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, "have shielded too many gang members from deportation."

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Prison Population Down, Payroll Up:  As the prison population drops 38 percent, the payroll costs for the CDCR have increased 5.3 percent, resulting in one third of officers earning more than $100,000 a year due to an increase in overtime hours worked.  Joel Hoffman of UT San Diego reports that overtime shifts have become a necessity due to a wave of retirements as well as recruitment classes slashed during budget crises.  Currently, four training academies are operating and are expected to generate 7,000 new recruits in the next three years to remedy the disparity.

CA's Death Row Runs out of Room:  Governor Jerry Brown is seeking $3.2 million from the California legislature for the addition of 100 cells for condemned inmates at San Quentin State Prison because the state's death row has run out of room.  Paige St. John of the LA Times reports that the death row population has increased steadily, from 646 inmates in 2006 to the current 751, and an average of 20 new death row arrivals are anticipated in each upcoming year.  Expanding death row is not out of the realm of possibility being that the prison's general population has decreased with the passage of AB 109 and Prop. 47.  Critics of the proposal emphasize Gov. Brown's failure to take steps to resume executions.

Fetal Homicide Debate Continues in CO:  Heated debates continue in Colorado over a fetus' legal rights after the brutal attack of an 8-month-pregnant woman, whose unborn child died when it was cut from her body, failed to result in a homicide charge.  Ivan Moreno and Nicholas Riccardi of the AP report that the state of Colorado has rejected fetal homicide proposals twice, fearing they could interfere with abortion rights.  Current law states that a person can face a murder charge in the death of a fetus "only if there is evidence that it survived apart from its mother."  In this case, there was no such evidence.

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Yolo County Questions Prop. 47 Sentencing:  Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig has expressed disagreement with two Yolo County judges regarding the handling of low-level drug offenses under Prop. 47, adopted by CA voters last November.   Sarah Dowling of the Daily Democrat reports that the Reisig believes that drug offenders are less likely to pursue drug treatment without incarceration or the threat of incarceration.  He has proposed developing new sentencing guidelines for drug offenses, and Chief Probation Officer Brent Cardall agrees.  He is suggesting reforms to probation protocols that would help prevent drug offenders from avoiding treatment.

Gov. Brown To Parole Sick, Elderly Convicts:  In a cost-cutting effort, Governor Jerry Brown has proposed the parole of  hundreds of convicts who are chronically sick, mentally impaired, and over the age of 60.  Thomas D. Elias of the Napa Valley Register reports that this idea was first introduced in 2002 by Ray Procunier, the former California director of corrections under Ronald Reagan, who pointed out that Reagan cut the prison population by one-third with no increase in crime.  Since violent crimes are typically committed by young offenders in their teens and 20s, and the costs of treating sick and/or elderly inmates is extremely expensive, many consider their release to be a sensible solution to ease prison overcrowding.

Burglaries Linked to Prop. 47:  A rash of burglaries in La Cañada, California has residents wondering whether or not it is the direct result of Prop. 47, a law passed in November that released thousands of inmates from state prisoners.  Anita S. Brenner of the La Cañada Valley Sun reports that burglaries have been on the rise statewide, likely due to drug offenders, who often commit thefts and burglaries in order to feed their habit, receiving only a citation for their crimes.  State corrections officials insist that long-term studies must be conducted before the "true effect" of Prop. 47 is seen. 

CA Loosens Jessica's Law:  Jessica's Law, or Prop. 83, which forbids sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park, is becoming less restrictive in California.  Kate Mather of the LA Times reports that the "blanket restrictions" outlined in the law will no longer be imposed, and cases will be assessed more individually.  The law, as it stands now, will still apply to high-risk sex offenders and offenders whose crimes involved children under the age of 14, who will be forbidden from living within a half-mile of a school or park.  This loosening of the law comes after a CA Supreme Court decision holding that the restrictions could not be applied in San Diego County due to a lack of residential properties 2,000 feet from schools and parks.

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Sen. Gillibrand Promotes Sex Assault Legislation:  In the wake of the findings that the UVa gang rape story published in the Rolling Stone in November was false, New York Senator Kristen Gillibrand still wants sexual assault on college campuses to be addressed more seriously.  Jessica Bakeman of Capital New York reports that Gillibrand's bill, the Campus Accountability and Safety Act, "would require colleges to sign memorandums of understanding with local law enforcement" in order to promote collaboration.  She hopes that victims will feel more comfortable reporting legitimate on-campus sexual assaults if they understand that law enforcement officials will be involved.

Big Data Assesses Risk and Recidivism:  The criminal justice system is leaning toward big data analytics to make predictions about future criminality, which would influence sentencing.  Dawinder Sidhu of the Baltimore Sun reports that 20 states have already adopted this approach, which purports to more accurately differentiate between high- and low-risk offenders. US Attorney General Eric Holder supports the use of risk-assessment tools, but is concerned that factors such as race and sex will inaccurately skew an individual's results.

Rape Victim Fights to Extend Florida's Rape Law:  Orlando resident Danielle Sullivan stands behind new legislation called the 43 Days Initiative Act, which would extend Florida's statute of limitations to ten years for reporting adult rape.  Ann Keil of My Fox Orlando reports that Sullivan was raped five years ago, but when she went to report it after four years, she was 43 days too late to seek prosecution.  Thirty-two states have a statute of limitations of ten years or more, while 18 states have no statute of limitation at all for reporting adult rape.  The passage of this bill would bring the state of Florida "in line with the rest of the nation."

Calaveras County Probation to Arm Officers:  The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the purchase of guns for its probation officers due to the increased threat posed by high-risk offenders out on AB 109 (Realignment).  The Union Democrat reports that because so many higher risk offenders are out on Realignment, probation officers must conduct home visits accompanied by an armed Sheriff's deputy.  

Senate Committee Kills Bill That Would Shield Drug Companies:  A South Carolina Senate committee killed the bill with a 7-7 vote that would hide the names of companies that sell execution drugs, although it is still alive in the Legislature.  Jeffrey Collins of the AP reports that Democrats primarily voted against it on the grounds that condemned inmates have the right to know the identities of the companies making the drugs that will kill them.  Senator Mike Fair, in favor of the bill, has suggested that the identities of these companies can be kept secret from the public but confidentially disclosed to the person being executed and their defense team, just as with the identities of the doctors and nurses involved with executions.

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Hispanic Activists Support Tougher Immigration Laws:  SB 185, a bill in the Texas Legislature that would stop cities from enforcing policies that ban police officers from asking immigration-related questions to detainees, is gaining significant support from Hispanic Texans.  Kristine Galvan of My Fox Houston reports that supporters feel strongly that police officers need to have "all the tools available to them to keep us safe," which would include asking questions to arrestees and suspicious persons regarding legal status.  Maria Espinoza, director of the Remembrance Project, an organization that works with families of American citizens killed by illegal immigrants, is recruiting Hispanic conservatives to voice their support of SB 185.

Pension-Forfeiture Bill Proposed for Child Predator Teachers:  Washington State Senator Barbara Bailey has introduced a bill that would strip the pensions of persons in violation of the public trust, such as a teacher convicted of child molestation.  Dan Springer of Fox News reports that in the state currently, 22 of the 130 teachers who lost their licenses are convicted felons that are costing taxpayers $2 million to pay their pensions.  The Washington Education Association is challenging the bill, arguing that "the criminal justice system should have no bearing on a public employee's retirement benefits."

Violent Crime Up 26% In LA:   Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck told the police commission Tuesday that violent crime in the city was up 26%.  The Chief reported that property crime rose by 11% and that serious crime has climbed 14% so far this year.  Richard Winton of the LA Times reports that the surge of violence was driven in part by a spike in aggravated assaults, which began last year and is still climbing.  The Chief noted that many of the increased assaults were domestic violence and alcohol-fueled street attacks.  Last year a Times investigation found that 1,200 violent or serious crimes had been misclassified  by the Department as low-level offenses. 

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Abusers Take Classes, Effectiveness Questioned: In an effort to reduce domestic violence, some cities in Nebraska have been employing intervention programs for the past 20 years to teach hundreds of violent and abusive men about healthy relationships. Riley Johnson of the Lincoln Star Journal reports that attending the programs are often a requirement made by a judge in place of jail time, but there has not been sufficient tracking of how many of these men that complete the program go on to reoffend.  Minimal local research has been conducted, revealing that in 2008, 14 percent of the 184 men enrolled in a program committed another act of domestic violence upon completion, with some reoffending while still in the program.

Boston Residents Prefer Life For Bomber: A new poll of Boston residents released by WBUR reveals that 62 percent would sentence surviving Boston Bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, to life in prison while only 27 percent advocate for the death penalty.  Katherine Q. Seelye of the New York Times reports that despite the grim details of the bombings shared during Tsarnaev's trial by victims, the poll results are a reflection of the region's "longtime opposition to capital punishment."  However, the fact that Tsarnaev's crime is federal and not state, he is facing a death sentence that the Justice Department is pursuing.

Discretion for Judges Sentencing Juvenile Offenders: SF 448, a bill passed by the Iowa Senate, gives judges "wide discretion" in the sentencing of persons under the age of 18, to comply with the US Supreme Court's ruling in Miller v. Alabama which held that mandatory life sentences for juveniles are cruel and unusual punishment.  Karl Schilling of The Des Moines Register reports that a judge can take certain factors into account on an individual case-by-case basis, such as the offender's maturity or frontal lobe development.  If appropriate, a juvenile can still face a life sentence at the discretion of the judge.

Girl's Mother Wants Death In Run-to-Death Case: Heather Walker, the mother of Savannah Hardin, the 9-year-old girl who was run to death by her grandmother Joyce Hardin Garrard as punishment for telling a lie, wants to see her former mother-in-law face the death penalty.  Jay Reeves of the AP reports that during Walker's testimony on Monday at Garrard's capital murder trial, she testified that Garrard shouted at Savannah as she lay dying in a hospital bed and has shown no signs of remorse for her death.  Savannah's stepmother, Jessica Mae Hardin, is also facing murder charges for sitting by as Garrard ran the girl to her death.

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Race-Baiting Hypocrisy: Last week, Illinois Senator Dick Durban criticized Republicans for forcing Loretta Lynch, President Obama's African-American nominee to replace Eric Holder, to "sit in the back of the bus" until a decision is reached on a heated human trafficking bill.  Investors Business Daily reports that Republicans made a counter-argument against Sen. Durban's accusations, because he once opposed and filibustered the GOP nominations of black and Latino appeals court judges for not being the "right kind" of minority candidate.  Republicans insist that their opposition to Loretta Lynch has nothing to do with her race, and everything to do with her policies.

Three Bay Area Police Shootings in Eight Hours: Three police-involved shootings occurred in the Bay Area in an eight hour period over the weekend, resulting in fatalities of the suspects in two of the three incidents.  Henry K. Lee of SF Gate reports that the first incident involved a suspect pointing and firing a gun at a convenience store employee, the second involved an agitated man wielding a hunting knife and replica gun, and the third suspect led officers on a high speed chase before exchanging gunfire with them.  The suspect in the third incident, Daniel Tolosa, is being hospitalized for a gunshot wound, but is expected to survive.  The other two suspects were fatally wounded by police officers.  Officers in all three incidents were unharmed.

Renewed Attention for Reformed Legislation of ABC: Legislation to remove the Alcohol Beverage Control's law enforcement powers, a bill previously proposed by Virginia State Senator Creigh Deeds, is coming under review again in the wake of the arrest of UVA college student Martese Johnson last Wednesday, which sparked the excessive force debate.  Hannah Hall and Juliana Radovanovich of the Cavalier Daily report that Deeds suggests that such law enforcement powers should be the sole responsibility of the state police, and would prevent questionable actions such as those displayed by ABC recently.  Both the investigation into ABC's actions during Johnson's arrest last Wednesday, as well as the passage of any legislation to remove their powers, will take considerable time.

Neighborhood Opposes Sex Offenders in Group Home: Residents of a Danby, New York neighborhood are outraged and "blindsided" after learning that a group home housing level 3 sex offenders is opening soon in their vicinity.  Kelsey O'Connor of the Ithaca Journal reports that Unity House, a nonprofit organization that provides housing and services to the mentally ill, chemically dependent, and physically disabled, were not required to notify the community of the home due to its small size.  Town officials were aware of Unity House moving into the neighborhood, but were also not informed of the two level 3 sex offenders that would be residing there.  Fearful residents have begun signing an online petition to restrict where these individuals can live.

Mass High Court Grants Counsel In Juvenile Parole Hearings: In a 5-2 decision, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled that inmates serving life sentences for murders they committed as juveniles are entitled to counsel and expert witnesses at their parole hearings, because it is a constitutional right.  Bob Salsberg of the AP for the Daily Journal reports that this ruling includes the requirement of the state to pay for a lawyer and any expert witnesses if the inmate is unable to afford private counsel. 

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An End to the Rape Kit Backlog:  A new $41 million Department of Justice program aims to assist cities and communities across the country end the backlog of an estimated 400,000 untested rape kits.  Jenna McLaughlin of Mother Jones reports that several states are planning on applying for use of the funds.  Some cities, such as New York, Detroit, and Houston, have received financial support in the past for this purpose and achieved great success in clearing their backlogs and prosecuting guilty criminals.

Bill Prohibits the Sale of Alcohol to DUI Offenders:  A permanent stamp on the drivers licenses of repeat DUI offenders would alert liquor stores, restaurants, and bars that the driver is not permitted to purchase alcohol, outlined in the proposal of a new Tennessee bill.  Brittany Nicholson of News Channel 9 reports that after the third DUI offense, the driver's new license will read "NO ALCOHOL SALES" in bold letters.  It will be at the judge's discretion when offenders get their licenses back and how long their licenses will have the stamp.

Heroin Dealers Face Stricter Consequences:  Heroin and fentanyl dealers are about to face much tougher penalties if House Bill 222 passes in Maryland.  WMDT reports that if an individual dies as a result of taking heroin or fentanyl, the dealer(s) of the drugs would be charged with a felony and serve a maximum of 30 years in prison.  There is a Good Samaritan clause attached, however, that would exempt anyone that calls for help during an overdose from criminal charges.

Alabama Executions Postponed for Review:  Executions in Alabama have been delayed by a federal judge, with the consent of the Alabama Attorney General, until the US Supreme Court reviews whether the execution drug the state plans to use is humane.  The AP reports that the Justices are reviewing the effectiveness of the sedative midazolam, which has fallen under heavy scrutiny since being brought to the attention of the courts by inmates in Oklahoma as being "problematic" in executions in three states.  Supreme Court Justices will hear arguments on April 29.

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DHS Releases 30,000 Criminal Aliens: 30,000 illegal immigrants with criminal records have been released from custody by federal immigration officers, with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement having very little discretion in the decision.  Stephen Dinan of the Washington Times reports that a proposal to rewrite the law to allow for longer detention of serious and violent offenders has been presented to Congress.  Under current law, released criminals are to be monitored, but a more cost-effective measure would involve expedited removal of criminal immigrants from the US.

 

Bill Requires Sex Offenders to Register Where They Work: SB 31, a bill requiring sex offenders to register in the community where they work if it is a different city from where they live, was approved on Wednesday by an Illinois Senate Committee.  Tom Kacich of the News-Gazette reports that it is not uncommon for sex offenders to rent an apartment near their place of employment and spend more time there than they do their own home, leaving their location and activities unaccounted for.  Convicted sex offender Tammy Bond argues that the bill is designed to set registered sex offenders up for failure and also jeopardizes the businesses that employ them.  Senator Julie Morrison, sponsor of the bill, expressed that she is willing to make changes and adjustments to the bill.

 

Prop 47 Creates a Revolving Door for Crime:  Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig has spoken openly about the challenges his office is facing as property and violent crime continue to increase in the county, due to AB 109 (Realignment) and Proposition 47.  Sarah Dowling of the Woodland Daily Democrat reports that of the 387 total inmates in the county jail that fall under Realignment, 95 of them "should be in state prison" according to Sheriff's Capt. Larry Cecchettini.  In terms of problems associated with Prop. 47, Reisig has already seen a huge spike in property crime during the short time since its passage.  That law decriminalized crimes that once resulted in state prison sentences.  He believes that offenders are committing more crimes and repeating these crimes because there is no risk of punishment.  No arrest, no court, no conviction, and no time served, allowing the cycle to continue.

 

PA Mayor Calls for Banning the "Criminal Box": Allentown, PA mayor Ed Pawlowski is planning to introduce legislation to City Council to remove a question from the city's job application form which asks applicants to disclose whether or not they have ever been convicted of a crime.  Emily Opilo of The Morning Call reports that one in four adults in the US have an arrest or conviction for a crime on their record, and "banning the box" on the application would allow these individuals to truly compete for jobs.  Background checks would still be conducted and civil service applicants would still be required to disclose their criminal histories.

 

Repeat Drunk Drivers Keep Driving  Colorado resident Ellie Phipps was driving one early morning when her car was smashed from behind at 45 MPH by another vehicle.  Her spine was shattered and she died three times on the operating table but survived.  When she regained consciousness, she learned that the drunk driver that struck her had been convicted of a DUI seven times.  Jeff Rossen and Charlie McLravy of Today report that the two-year sentence that is typically handed down to a drunk driver has little deterrent effect on the offender, and they continue to drive once released.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's most recent data states that in 2013, someone was killed by a drunk driver every 52 minutes, and the FBI states that only 4,000 of the 300,000 people that drive drunk every day are caught.  Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper says that a tougher law is in progress which make multiple DUI convictions a felony.

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Border Patrol Agents Encouraged Not To Report Groups: US Border Patrol agent Chris Cabrera from the Rio Grande Valley Sector has revealed that agents are being chastised for reporting illegal alien groups exceeding 20 individuals.  Edwin Mora of Breitbart reports that agents that do make such reports are assigned to process detainees at the station or patrol low volume areas in a fixed position as punishment.  In recent Congressional testimony the Vice President of the National Border Patrol Council told lawmakers that the Obama administration is misleading the American people by manipulating border security data. "Ask any line Agent in the field and he or she will tell you that at best we apprehend 35-40% of the illegal immigrants attempting to cross. This number is even lower for drug smugglers who are much more adept at eluding capture," he said.

 

Siblings of Murdered Parents Fight Killer's Parole:  The year before California reinstated the death penalty and life without the possibility of parole was an option, Jose Gonzalez bludgeoned James and Essie Effron to death in the basement of their store.  Now, decades later, he has been granted parole.  Kelly Puente of the Orange County Register reports on the children of the deceased couple's fight to have the parole board's decision vetoed.  Cheryl Effron and her brother Gary Effron have reached out to the public to begin a letter-writing campaign to Gov. Jerry Brown, pleading for him to reverse the decision.  If the siblings are successful, they may have to do it all again in three years when Gonzalez once again becomes eligible for supervised release.

 

Missouri Executes Cecil Clayton:  Death row inmate Cecil Clayton's efforts to have his execution delayed with claims of mental incompetence and a potentially improper lethal injection drug were not convincing enough for the US Supreme Court to stay his execution Tuesday evening.  The Associated Press reports that the convicted murderer of Deputy Sheriff Christopher Castetter, and the (formerly) oldest death row inmate in the state of Missouri, was cooperative when escorted to the execution chamber, according to a Department of Corrections spokesman.  Clayton's execution was the second this year in the state.

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Fed Medical Pot Law Introduced:  Senators Rand Paul (R-Ky), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Kristen Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) have introduced a bill that would legalize medical marijuana.  Niraj Chokshi of The Washington Post  reports that the measure would end the federal ban on medical marijuana, allow doctors to prescribe it and make it easier for banks to serve pot growers and marketers.  The legislation is called the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States Act. 

Ammo Magazine Limit Challenged:  The Colorado Senate will soon vote on a bill that would repeal a 2013 ban on magazines holding more than 15 rounds.  Lynn Bartels of the Denver Post reports that SB 175 passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on a straight party line vote and is guaranteed to pass on the floor.  The bill is less likely to pass in the Democrat-controlled House.  A similar measure died in a House committee last month.

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LAPD Using Choppers To Prevent Crime:  Data indicates that the use of helicopters to patrol high crime areas of Los Angeles is reducing the number of reported crimes.  Kate Mather and Richard Winton of the Los Angeles Times report that LAPD has been experimenting with helicopter patrols over "hot spots" to deter criminals for a few years.  During one week in 2013 increased helicopter patrols resulted in a 31% drop in reported crimes.  A week later when patrols were reduced, crime shot back up. 

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Criminalizing Forced Payment of Dues:   The Wisconsin Legislature has passed a right to work law that would make it a crime to require a non-union worker to pay dues as a condition of employment.  The Associated Press  reports that an employer could face up to nine months in jail if he requires private-sector workers who aren't in a union to pay dues.  Twenty-four other states have adopted "right to work" laws. 

Double Murderer Gets Death Penalty:   A man who brutally murdered his ex-girlfriend's father and sister in 2007 was sentenced to death by an Orange County, CA judge Wednesday.  Jeremiah Dobruck or the Daily Pilot reports that  after U.C. Irvine student Shayona Dhanak broke off her relationship with 30-year-old Ifekhar Murtaza, a Muslim, he blamed the girl's parents who were devout Hindus.  The court found that Murtaza and two friends went to the victims' home one evening and stabbed Syayona's father, then waited to attack other family members as they arrived.   The mother was stabbed and left on a neighbors lawn. She was in a coma for three weeks but survived.  The father and sister was taken to a nearby park and set on fire.  The family's Anaheim home was also set on fire. 

Second Sex Offender Nabbed At Border:  An illegal alien deported after serving time for molesting a child was caught trying to cross the U.S. border into Texas Wednesday.  Joe Hyde of San Angelo Live reports that Jose Margarito Rivera-Mendez is the second deported illegal alien sex-offender arrested for trying to cross the boarder at San Angelo this week.  

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Coyote Deported 49Times:  A Mexican smuggler arrested while trying to bring 17 illegal aliens into the U.S, told border agents that he has been caught and deported 45 times as a juvenile and four times as an adult.  Ildefonso Ortiz of Breitbart News reports that  Victor Ramirez was arrested after a fist fight with agents who had watched him lead the group of illegals across the Rio Grande River.  In an earlier story Breitbart reported that assault charges, which would increase the penalty for a smuggler like Ramirez, are often dismissed unless an agent is seriously injured.  This probably means that Ramirez will be deported for a 50th time.  

Arias Avoids Death Penalty:  The judge will decide whether convicted murderer Jodi Arias will be sentenced to life without parole or life with parole after 25 years after the sentencing jury could not agree today.  Fox News reports that after deliberating five days, jurors remained deadlocked on a decision to recommend a death sentence or life in prison for the woman convicted of stabbing her lover, Travis Alexander, nearly 30 times, before slitting his throat and shooting him in the head.  She later claimed she murdered him in self defense.  It was the second time a sentencing jury deadlocked in the case.    

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Inmates Rescue Guard At Rikers:  Inmates at Rikers Island helped rescue a female guard who was nearly raped by a sex offender Saturday night.  Reuven Blau of the New York Daily News reports that Raleek Young, serving a five-to-10 year sentence for raping a 13-year-old girl, managed to get inside the watch post and attack the female guard, ripping off her sweater and choking her before inmates helped guards break a plexiglass window to gain entry and stop the attack.  Initially, jail management labeled the incident as a routine use of force, but after guards protested Young was arraigned on charges including attempted rape and assault.    

GA Execution Postponed:  The scheduled execution of Kelly Gissendaner, sentenced to death for planning the 1997 murder of her husband by her boyfriend, has been postponed.  FoxNews reports that the postponment was called when corrections officials noted that the anesthetic pentobarbital, to be used for the lethal injection process, appeared to be cloudy and in "an abundance of caution" decided to stop the execution.  A new execution date has not been set.

Parolees Convicted Of Two Murders:   As California continues its "smart sentencing" policy of reduced consequences for habitual felons, two criminals whose records were filled with convictions for what the state defines as "low level" felonies have recently been convicted of the brutal murders of two women.  On February 17, KUSI News reported that Jeff Boswell, a paroled drug addict with a long record of theft related felonies, was convicted of the 2013 beating and strangulation murder of an 87-year-old San Diego woman during a robbery.  Last Friday,  Kelly Puente of the Orange County Register reported that parolee Ean Keith Brown was convicted of beating and strangling a 22-year-old Huntington Beach woman to death. 

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