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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 27, 1999
In "Curb Imperial Power of Prosecutors" (Commentary, April 20), Franklin Zimring mistakenly or misleadingly characterizes the three-strikes law as imposing "mandatory minimum" sentences and removing "judicial discretion to choose a prison term." While removing judicial discretion in sentencing repeat offenders might have been the purpose of those who drafted and voted for the three-strikes law, the fact remains that back in 1996 the California Supreme Court held the three-strikes law permits trial judges to dismiss "strikes" in the interest of justice and to chose any prison term they may determine adequate under the circumstances.
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NATIONAL
February 19, 2014 | By Richard A. Serrano
WASHINGTON - Federal prosecutors will not be allowed to review the answers that alleged Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed provides later this week to the defense team of a fellow suspected terrorist, a federal judge ruled Wednesday. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan was a victory for accused Al Qaeda propagandist Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, who is set to face trial in New York next week. It gives his defense team more leeway to review Mohammed's responses and decide whether to use them to bolster their defense.
NATIONAL
April 2, 2013 | By Richard A. Serrano, This post has been updated. See the note below for details
WASHINGTON -- Officials investigating the deaths of two prosecutors in Kaufman County, Texas, have turned their attention to a former local official there who lost his job in a corruption probe and had allegedly made several threats against the two victims, according to a federal law enforcement official who has been briefed on the case. The local official was arrested for alleged possession of stolen property after he was caught on surveillance cameras, the source said. He apparently sought to work a plea deal but did not prevail, and since losing his job has issued a number of threats, including retaliation against the two prosecutors who were killed in Kaufman County.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 24, 2014 | By Joseph Serna
A New York man charged with strangling a former Hollywood High School teacher pleaded not guilty Monday to murder. Scott Kratlian , 44, was charged in the killing of Harry Major, 82, a former Los Angeles Unified School District teacher who was reportedly popular with students. He was found  dead Feb. 12 at his home  in the 1400 block of North Vista Street, police said.  Kratlian faces up to 56 years to life in prison if convicted. Prosecutors say Major and Kratlian were penpals while Kratlian was in a New York prison serving time for manslaughter.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 26, 2013 | By Ari Bloomekatz
The woman "cosmic artist" Jack Armstrong allegedly raped in 2010 was unconscious during the assault, prosecutors say. Armstrong was arrested Friday at a home in Eagle Rock on a warrant in connection with arape that allegedly took place in Beverly Hills on March 4 or 5, 2010. The Southern California artist got his nickname after christening his bright, multicolored paintings as “cosmic extensionalism.” His paintings can fetch six figures. Armstrong, 56, was released from custody after posting bond, according to the Beverly Hills Police Department.
NATIONAL
May 15, 2012 | By Richard Fausset
Florida prosecutors are giving a glimpse of the evidence they plan to use in their second-degree murder case against George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch captain who fatally shot unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin. Details of the evidence are contained in a document called a redacted discovery exhibit, which the state attorney's office is required to file under Florida's rules of criminal procedure. Entered into the court record late Monday in Seminole County, it serves as a compendium of the people and documents that the state relied upon in building its case.
NATIONAL
November 7, 2013 | By Michael Muskal
He was the crime lord who cultivated an image of really being a good guy despite the killings, extortion and drug-dealing. He was the Robin Hood-like fugitive, with almost mystical powers of hiding during the 16 years on the lam that earned him a prominent spot on the FBI's Most Wanted List. He was glorified in movies and books and was even viewed by some during his trial as an icon of a romantic bygone era. As James “Whitey” Bulger awaits sentencing next week, prosecutors on Thursday called the 84-year-old a man of “no redeeming qualities” who deserves to be given two consecutive life prison terms, plus five years.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 14, 2014 | By Christopher Goffard
Police have arrested an 41-year-old Anaheim woman on suspicion of operating a brothel in one the city's motels. Ramona Judith Mora Garcia is accused of enlisting a 33-year-old woman and a 38-year-old woman as prostitutes in late 2013 and early 2014. The Anaheim Police Department contacted her through a sexually suggestive ad Garcia had placed in a magazine, according to the Orange County district attorney's office. Authorities said Garcia would place such ads, arrange for customers to meet with the two women for sex and then demand half the money they were paid.
NATIONAL
December 6, 2012 | By Michael Muskal
Jim Letten, who became the face of probity and incorruptibility in New Orleans, resigned as the federal prosecuting attorney amid a scandal involving top deputies who used the Internet to post anonymous criticisms of judges and cases. Letten announced his resignation at a news conference on Thursday. He gave no reason for leaving the job but insisted he was not forced out. "The decision ultimately was mine," he said. "Make no mistake: I stand here before you ... with enormous, unabashed pride in everything we've accomplished and in the tremendous successes we've forged over the years," Letten said.
NATIONAL
October 18, 2012 | Richard A. Serrano
FT. MEADE, Md. - Government prosecutors in the Sept. 11 conspiracy case, after earlier arguing for a protective order dealing with secret national security information, sought Thursday to broaden their request by asking for more restrictions against the public release of unclassified law enforcement material collected in the massive investigation into the 2001 terror attacks. Edward Ryan, a Department of Justice prosecutor, said the government is prepared to turn over more than 200,000 separate documents to defense lawyers as part of the legal discovery process in the case and asked the military commission judge to bar the release to the public of much of that material to protect secret law enforcement investigative techniques and clandestine terrorist activities.
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