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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who will be a top Democratic target in 2020 when he runs for reelection, won a big legislative victory when he succeeded in passing a bill that makes hemp a legal agricultural commodity, removing it from the federal list of controlled substances. He says hemp is distinct from marijuana, hemp’s “illicit cousin.”
Longtime Pittsburgh Judge Donna Jo McDaniel, who recently was removed from two sex offender cases by the state Superior Court, will resign Jan. 31. She has long been heralded for sticking up for victims.
“We shouldn’t release serious and repeat-violence felons, which is what the bill will do. It will be bad for anyone who votes for it,” says Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR). Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) disagrees, saying, “Taking [the argument] to its logical conclusion, you never let anybody out for anything.”
The sentencing of Michael Cohen and the disclosure of a key agreement with the parent company of the National Enquirer intensified the focus on Trump’s alleged role in coordinating efforts to suppress the stories of two women to protect his 2016 campaign.
Dozens of former state and federal judges are asking U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to add courthouses to the list of “sensitive locations” where their officers generally do not go. saying, “Our justice system cannot function effectively — if victims, defendants, witnesses, and family members do not feel secure in accessing the courthouse,”
In an unusual consensus, artificial intelligence researchers, activists, lawmakers and many of the largest technology companies agree that facial recognition software breeds bias, risks fueling mass surveillance and should be regulated.
The number of fatal overdoses involving meth more than tripled between 2011 and 2016, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The percentage of overdose deaths involving meth grew from less than 5 percent to nearly 11 percent. Fentanyl was involved in the highest percentage of fatal overdoses in 2016, followed by heroin and cocaine.
The latest legal effort by civil rights advocates to make disciplinary records of police officers public failed in the state’s highest court. The New York Civil Liberties Union called the ruling a “terrible setback.”
Long pretrial detentions are particularly prevalent in Mississippi because of impoverished inmates who can’t make bail, delays in appointing public defenders, slow processing of evidence and infrequent meetings of local courts.