Minnesota prosecutors fail to hold police accountable, critics say
MINNEAPOLIS — Over the past three years, five different judges in Hennepin County have ruled that Corcoran, Minn., police officer Cody Vojacek conducted unlawful searches, leading to the dismissal of six criminal cases.In a February hearing on the most recent case, when asked under oath if he had adjusted his methods based on the courts’ repeated rebuffs, Vojacek was unequivocal that he had not.“No, because I disagreed with the findings of those orders,” Vojacek said. “So no, I didn’t. I do things exactly the same as I always have.”The case illustrates a problem in America’s criminal justice s...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
2 San Quentin death row inmates die from COVID-19
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Two of California death row’s most notorious inmates apparently died from COVID-19, bringing the number of inmates across the state to die after contracting the coronavirus to at least 24.The men, convicted child killer Scott Thomas Erskine and Manuel Machado Alvarez, both died on July 3, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said in a news release.Both men were being treated at outside hospitals after being sickened by coronavirus inside San Quentin State Prison, where the virus has run rampant for nearly two weeks. Nearly 1,400 inmates, one in three...
The Sacramento Bee
Senate Republicans seek to join defense in Minnesota abortion case
MINNEAPOLIS — Days after the United States Supreme Court struck down a Louisiana abortion law, Minnesota Senate Republicans moved to get involved in a legal battle over the state’s own measures on abortion access.In a party-line vote Thursday evening, the Senate Rules Committee voted to hire outside counsel to defend a slate of state abortion restrictions against an ongoing lawsuit.Backers of the lawsuit are seeking to strike down a number of longstanding laws, including state’s 24-hour waiting period, two-parent parental notification for patients under 18, and a burial or cremation requiremen...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
With 12 in Texas on federal death row, Justice Department resumes executions
AUSTIN, Texas — The U.S. Supreme Court earlier this week declined to hear a challenge to the Trump administration’s revised federal death penalty practice, and the four men who appealed their executions are scheduled to be put to death this summer.The U.S. Justice Department has said additional executions will be set at a later date. The last federal execution, in any state, took place in 2003.None of the four cases is from Texas, but even if the Supreme Court had temporarily blocked the men’s executions, such a decision would not have had an effect on those on federal death row in the Lone St...
Nation and world news briefs
Moderna delays Phase 3 trial for COVID-19 vaccineModerna’s heavily anticipated trial for a coronavirus vaccine, which was set to begin next week, has been delayed.“Moderna has previously disclosed that the Phase 3 trial of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate mRNA-1273 is expected to begin in July. The trial is still expected to begin in July and we expect to be the first to start a Phase 3 trial,” read a company statement sent to The New York Daily News Thursday. “We have worked closely with NIH/OWS to align on the final protocol in order to begin the trial on time.”The Phase 3 study, which include...
Tribune News Service
Trial delayed for militia leader allegedly behind Minn. mosque bombing
MINNEAPOLIS — Citing the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, a federal judge on Thursday postponed the trial of an Illinois militia leader charged with orchestrating the 2017 bombing of a Bloomington mosque.Michael Hari was scheduled to stand trial on hate crime and explosives charges later this month, making his the first federal trial to take place since the district’s chief judge suspended jury trials in March. But on Thursday, U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank postponed Hari’s trial date to Sept. 21.Last week, Chief Judge John Tunheim issued an order allowing in-person hearings to resume on ...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Court rules Jackie Robinson West team may seek reinstatement of 2014 Little League championship
CHICAGO — Parents of the Jackie Robinson West team that had its Little League World Series national title stripped due to players’ ineligibility may proceed with their lawsuit seeking reinstatement of the championship, a court has ruled.The ruling is the latest twist in a story that first captivated fans when the team of African American boys from Chicago’s South Side won the national championship in 2014.After the title, an administrator from a rival suburban league complained that the team had taken players from outside its territory, which would have made them ineligible.A Little League Bas...
Georgia man sentenced to 1,000 years for child porn gets parole
ATLANTA — A former Troup County commissioner once called a prolific collector of child porn will have a chance to spend the rest of his 1,000-year prison sentence on parole.The State Board of Pardons and Paroles released Peter Mallory on parole May 27, three weeks after an appeals court found the sentence for Mallory’s 2012 conviction was appropriate. District Attorney Herb Cranford said he opposed the decision “but was powerless to stop it.”Cranford released a statement Tuesday explaining his opposition after he said several members of the Troup County community expressed concern over Mallory...
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Editorial: Supreme Court abortion ruling shows proper restraint
Although Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court abortion ruling applies only to a restrictive law in distant Louisiana, the case shows how tenuous federal protections for abortion rights have become.The 5-4 decision swung on Chief Justice John Roberts, who explained his surprising support as abiding precedent. The decision tosses out a Louisiana law deemed likely to shutter all but one clinic in that state to get an abortion. But Roberts is no reliable ally for abortion rights. Just four years ago, he voted to uphold a Texas law that was nearly identical, and lost.In the new case, he cited the principle ...
The Seattle Times
Florida governor signs new law requiring parental consent for abortions
While his state continues to see skyrocketing numbers of new coronavirus cases, becoming a new epicenter in the outbreak, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis quietly signed into law a top priority for anti-abortion groups. Without making a public statement, DeSantis approved the new measure, which will force a minor’s parents to be involved in the decision if his or her child wants an abortion.Critics argue that the new law is unconstitutional, saying that the Florida Supreme Court struck down a similar parental-consent requirement in 1989 because it violated a right to privacy.That may not be a factor ...
New York Daily News