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Jury awards more than $70M to woman in baby powder lawsuit

October 28, 2016
 Associated Press
A St. Louis jury on Thursday awarded a California woman more than $70 million in her lawsuit alleging that years of using Johnson & Johnson's baby powder caused her cancer, the latest case raising concerns about the health ramifications of extended talcum powder use.
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Oregon case jury delivers blow to government in lands fight

October 28, 2016
 Associated Press
A jury delivered an extraordinary blow to the government in a long-running battle over the use of public lands when it acquitted all seven defendants involved in the armed occupation of a national wildlife refuge in rural southeastern Oregon.
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Sex abuse lawsuit against USA Gymnastics doc names Karolyis

October 28, 2016
 Associated Press
The latest lawsuit accusing a former USA Gymnastics doctor of sexually abusing a longtime member of the U.S. women's national team is the first to name renowned husband-and-wife coaches Bela and Martha Karolyi, alleging they turned a blind eye to molestations.
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Voter group wants documents unsealed in Indiana search

October 28, 2016
 Associated Press
A voter mobilization facing an investigation into possible voter registration fraud asked a court Thursday to unseal documents from an Indiana State Police search of its offices, saying it "has been publicly demonized by the highest state officials in Indiana."
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Judge lets Flint residents' lawsuit against state move ahead

October 27, 2016
 Associated Press
A Michigan judge has ruled in favor of Flint residents who sued the state over the city's man-made lead-tainted water crisis, rejecting a motion to dismiss the lawsuit entirely.
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Ex-South Texas College of Law in Houston changing name again

October 27, 2016
 Associated Press
An attorney says a downtown Houston law school will change its name again to end a federal trademark lawsuit filed by the University of Houston System.
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7th Circuit affirms jury verdict in injured railroad worker's suit

October 27, 2016
Olivia Covington
A jury correctly ruled against an employee of the railroad company CSX Transportation Inc. who sued his employer after an on-the-job accident that resulted in severe back pain, citing evidence that proved the pain existed before the accident, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decided Thursday.
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COA affirms woman’s involuntary commitment despite moot appeal

October 27, 2016
Olivia Covington
Although the term of her commitment in an Indiana mental health facility had already expired, the Indiana Court of Appeals chose Thursday to hear a woman’s moot appeal of her commitment and affirm it, writing that the case needed to be heard as a matter of great public importance.
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Thomas criticizes broken confirmation process for high court

October 27, 2016
 Associated Press
Justice Clarence Thomas said Wednesday that the U.S. Supreme Court confirmation process is an example of how the nation's capital is "broken in some ways."
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Mistrial declared in Indianapolis murder-for-hire case

October 27, 2016
 Associated Press
A mistrial has been declared in a double-homicide case of an Indianapolis man who was charged in a murder-for-hire scheme that authorities say led to the fatal shootings of four men in early 2014.
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Indiana congressional candidate sues over arrest

October 27, 2016
 Associated Press
An Indiana congressional candidate has sued a police officer who accused him of assault during a traffic stop last month.
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Lawyer argues girl hurt in stage collapse put self at risk

October 27, 2016
 Associated Press
A student injured in a stage collapse last year during a musical at an Indiana high school put herself at risk by participating in the show, the school said in court records countering a lawsuit from the student's parent.
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State brief cites religion in defending fetal-remains statute

October 27, 2016
Dave Stafford
The state is continuing to defend Indiana’s fetal-remains statute that a federal judge blocked after a U.S. Supreme Court decision this year reinforced prohibitions against laws restricting a woman’s right to abortion. The state is relying in part on “astonishing” religious practices to make its case.
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Vaidik re-elected chief judge of Court of Appeals

October 26, 2016
IL Staff
Indiana Court of Appeals Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik will serve another three-year term leading the court beginning Jan. 1 after the court’s 15 judges re-elected her Wednesday.
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Indiana police to discuss voter fraud probe no further

October 26, 2016
 Associated Press
The prosecutor in Indiana's most populous county has asked State Police to release no additional information on its investigation into possible voter fraud in 56 of the state's counties.
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Indiana candidates back Chicago man's stalled pardon request

October 26, 2016
 Associated Press
The Indiana gubernatorial candidates say they would likely grant a pardon to a Chicago man whose request hasn't been acted upon by Gov. Mike Pence for two years despite evidence he was wrongly sent to prison for an armed robbery conviction.
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COA will not allow specialized driving privileges for man with 27 traffic violations

October 26, 2016
Olivia Covington
An Indiana man now living in Mississippi whose Indiana driver’s license was suspended for life after more than two dozen traffic violations cannot receive special Indiana driving privileges that would enable him to obtain a license in Mississippi.
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Homeowner can be liable for party injuries resulting in death, but not for furnishing alcohol

October 26, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Supreme Court held Wednesday that a woman whose party guest died at her home after a drunken brawl could be considered negligent because she did not seek care for the guest, but not on the basis of supplying alcohol to the men involved in the fight.
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IN Supreme Court holds that bar shooting was not foreseeable

October 26, 2016
Olivia Covington
After deciding that foreseeability in the context of duty in a negligence case is different than in the context of proximate cause, the Indiana Supreme Court held Wednesday that a Grant County bar was not negligent in a shooting that injured three people because the shooting was not foreseeable.
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Commission expects final regulations on daily fantasy sports by summer 2017

October 26, 2016
Olivia Covington
After Indiana became the second state in the country to authorize daily fantasy sports activities during the 2016 legislative session, the Indiana Gaming Commission told state lawmakers Tuesday that it is moving closer toward its goal of developing a set of rules to regulate the new industry.
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Holcomb, Gregg say Indiana must do more to fight drug abuse

October 26, 2016
 Associated Press
The Indiana gubernatorial candidates said during a debate Tuesday that they believe the state should do more to attack the growing abuse of heroin and other drugs.
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Supreme Court upholds burglar’s sentence, rejects COA assessment of appellate argument

October 25, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed Tuesday a burglar’s felony conviction and sentence, but also rejected a harsh Court of Appeals assessment of the his argument appealing his sentence.
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7th Circuit upholds drug offender’s conviction, vacates life sentence

October 25, 2016
Olivia Covington
A man convicted of multiple drug offenses and sentenced to a life term in prison will soon receive a new sentence after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated it on Tuesday.
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Indiana Supreme Court upholds decision granting convicted felon’s motion for relief

October 25, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Supreme Court will allow a convicted felon to bring his case for post-conviction relief back to court to be heard on the merits after finding that his motion for relief was filed in a timely manner, despite a seven-year delay.
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Justices dismiss misconduct charge against White County deputy prosecutor

October 25, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Supreme Court has entered judgment in favor of a White County attorney after finding that the state Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission failed to prove that the attorney had violated a rule of professional conduct, resulting in a man’s erroneous convictions of child molestation.
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  1. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13) Under the current system many local registering agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the life’s of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernible benefit in terms of community safety. The full report is available online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America. The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx? ID=247350 The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483 Conclusion. The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the Internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates. The full report is available online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483 These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. People, including the media and other organizations should not rely on and reiterate the statements and opinions of the legislators or other people as to the need for these laws because of the high recidivism rates and the high risk offenders pose to the public which simply is not true and is pure hyperbole and fiction. They should rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 0.8% (page 30) The full report is available online at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Research_Branch/Research_Documents/2014_Outcome_Evaluation_Report_7-6-2015.pdf California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) (page 38) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 1.8% The full report is available online at. http://www.google.com/url?sa= t&source=web&cd=1&ved= 0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F% 2Fwww.cdcr.ca.gov%2FAdult_ Research_Branch%2FResearch_ documents%2FOutcome_ evaluation_Report_2013.pdf&ei= C9dSVePNF8HfoATX-IBo&usg=AFQjCNE9I6ueHz-o2mZUnuxLPTyiRdjDsQ Bureau of Justice Statistics 5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE WASHINGTON, D.C. Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013 Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy. A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7% Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009. The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05% Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf Once again, These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so. Megan’s law is a failure and is destroying families and their children’s lives and is costing tax payers millions upon millions of dollars. The following is just one example of the estimated cost just to implement SORNA which many states refused to do. From Justice Policy Institute. Estimated cost to implement SORNA Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M. For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work. http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf. Attempting to use under-reporting to justify the existence of the registry is another myth, or a lie. This is another form of misinformation perpetrated by those who either have a fiduciary interest in continuing the unconstitutional treatment of a disfavored group or are seeking to justify their need for punishment for people who have already paid for their crime by loss of their freedom through incarceration and are now attempting to reenter society as honest citizens. When this information is placed into the public’s attention by naive media then you have to wonder if the media also falls into one of these two groups that are not truly interested in reporting the truth. Both of these groups of people that have that type of mentality can be classified as vigilantes, bullies, or sociopaths, and are responsible for the destruction of our constitutional values and the erosion of personal freedoms in this country. I think the media or other organizations need to do a in depth investigation into the false assumptions and false data that has been used to further these laws and to research all the collateral damages being caused by these laws and the unconstitutional injustices that are occurring across the country. They should include these injustices in their report so the public can be better informed on what is truly happening in this country on this subject. Thank you for your time.

  2. Freedom as granted in the Constitution cannot be summarily disallowed without Due Process. Unable to to to the gym, church, bowling alley? What is this 1984 level nonsense? Congrats to Brian for having the courage to say that this was enough! and Congrats to the ACLU on the win!

  3. America's hyper-phobia about convicted sex offenders must end! Politicians must stop pandering to knee-jerk public hysteria. And the public needs to learn the facts. Research by the California Sex Offender Management Board as shown a recidivism rate for convicted sex offenders of less than 1%. Less than 1%! Furthermore, research shows that by year 17 after their conviction, a convicted sex offender is no more likely to commit a new sex offense than any other member of the public. Put away your torches and pitchforks. Get the facts. Stop hysteria.

  4. He was convicted 23 years ago. How old was he then? He probably was a juvenile. People do stupid things, especially before their brain is fully developed. Why are we continuing to punish him in 2016? If he hasn't re-offended by now, it's very, very unlikely he ever will. He paid for his mistake sufficiently. Let him live his life in peace.

  5. This year, Notre Dame actually enrolled an equal amount of male and female students.

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