A new measure reclassifying minor drug and property crimes from felonies to misdemeanors should cut the state’s nation-leading rate of incarcerating women. But “we’re not going to be able to reverse the trend overnight,” says former House Speaker Kris Steele.
Payment to a former staff member who charged that she was sexually harassed “looks an awful lot like hush money” and violates House ethics rules, the Detroit Free Press says of Rep. John Conyers Jr., top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee.
Prison officials will not be able to carry out South Carolina’s first execution since 2011 because they lack the drugs used to make the lethal injection cocktail. Bobby Wayne Stone was scheduled to die on December 1 for killing a police officer in 1997.
Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC), chair of the conservative House Republican Study Committee, agrees with an unlikely ally, Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA), that federal sentencing reform should advance in Congress next year.
Ex-journalist Thomas Hargrove has a file of 751,785 murders since 1976, about 27,000 more than appear in FBI files. Using computer code he wrote, he searches for statistical anomalies among ordinary murders resulting from lovers’ triangles, gang fights, robberies, or brawls. Each year, about five thousand people kill someone and don’t get caught. Hargrove intends to find them with his code, which he calls a serial-killer detector.
House Speaker Paul Ryan called “extremely troubling” a report that Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, settled a complaint by a woman who alleged she was fired from his Washington staff because she rejected his sexual advances.
With overwhelming caseloads, public defenders are suing states for more funding. Defenders are increasingly trying other tactics: refusing to take on new cases, raising money through crowdfunding, even trying to assign a case to a sitting governor.
Candidate Donald Trump seized on Kate Steinle’s death to decry loose borders and Democrats said San Francisco should have cooperated with federal immigration authorities to keep Jose Ines Garcia Zarate in custody. Politics did not come up in a month-long trial that featured circumstantial evidence and testimony from ballistics experts.