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Supreme Court gives juvenile killers chance for reduced sentences

Kids in prison for lifeThe Supreme Court on Monday granted hundreds of prisoners who were convicted of murder as juveniles the chance to have their mandatory sentences of life without parole reconsidered.

The decision could give those previously locked away for life the same chance for lesser sentences now given to all such juvenile killers, following the court's 2012 ruling striking down mandatory life sentences for juveniles. It also could make them eligible for parole.


High court upholds government's energy conservation program

SCOTUS upholds gov't energy programThe Supreme Court has upheld a 4-year-old federal program that pays large electric customers to save energy during times of peak demand.

The justices ruled 6-2 on Monday that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission had the authority to issue directives aimed at conserving energy and preventing blackouts.


Supreme Court declines death penalty case

SCOTUS rejects death penalty caseThe Supreme Court announced Tuesday that it would not hear a case challenging the constitutionality of the death penalty.  

The appeal was filed on behalf of Shonda Walters, who was sentenced to death in May 2006 for murdering her next door neighbor with a hatchet and stealing his car.

The U.S. Supreme Court of Pennsylvania for the Eastern District upheld the lower court’s death sentence, saying the court found the evidence sufficient to support her conviction for first-degree murder.


The Latest: Alaska hit with aftershock after 6.8 earthquake

6.8 earthquake in AlaskaAn early morning earthquake that rattled Alaska has been followed by a second aftershock in the Cook inlet region.

The Alaska Earthquake Center says preliminary reports put the latest aftershock at a magnitude-4.7.


Battle over voting rights restrictions moves to North Carolina

NC voting rights fightThe latest round in the nationwide battle to defend the historic gains of the civil rights movement opens in a federal courtroom in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, on Monday where Republican politicians will be accused of blatantly attempting to discourage African Americans from voting.

The local chapter of the NAACP is taking the Republican state governor, Pat McCrory, to court over a new rule that requires citizens who turn up at polling stations either to produce a photo-ID card or give a “reasonable” excuse for lacking one before they can cast a ballot. The NAACP argues that the new law places a burden on voters that is unconstitutional as it overtly discriminates against black citizens who are less likely to have access to such photo identification.


Why Does Bronx Old-Age Home Funnel Millions to Ultra-Orthodox Groups?

Brentwood homeA Bronx old-age home whose board includes several high-powered Orthodox Jewish activists has sent at least $20 million to dozens of ultra-Orthodox organizations in an unusual, decades-long arrangement.

The not-for-profit, called the Bronxwood Home for the Aged, runs a home care agency and an assisted living facility, which serves largely non-Jewish seniors. It has sent one dollar out of every 10 it has earned in revenue since 1997 to Hasidic yeshivas, Orthodox activist groups and a proposed Israeli medical center, among other Jewish charities.


Oregon militia leaders and FBI begin negotiations to end standoff

Oregan standoof in negotiationsThe leader of an armed group occupying a national wildlife refuge in Oregon plans to have a ceremony Saturday for ranchers to renounce federal ownership of public land and tear up their federal grazing contracts.

On Friday, Ammon Bundy met briefly with a federal agent as authorities attempt to resolve the three-week old standoff over federal land policies, but Bundy left because the agent wouldn’t talk with him in front of the media.


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