Zipping into statutes: Overview of new laws for 2019

Although the $34 billion budget dominated the session, legislators introduced and considered more than 600 bills each in both the Senate and the House. The ones they passed covered a variety of matters, including hate crimes, hemp, gambling, foster parents, electricity generation and, of course, electric scooters.
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Supreme Court set for case on racial bias in jury selection

Curtis Flowers has been jailed in Mississippi for 22 years, even as prosecutors couldn’t get a murder conviction against him to stick through five trials. This week, the Supreme Court will consider whether his conviction and death sentence in a sixth trial should stand or be overturned for a familiar reason: because prosecutors improperly kept African-Americans off the jury.
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Indiana Senate approves stripped-down hate crimes bill

The Republican-dominated Indiana Senate passed a stripped-down hate crimes bill Thursday and sent the measure to the House, where Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb and others hope the legislation can still be strengthened. The Senate voted 39-10 in favor of the legislation that was changed two days earlier to remove a list of specifically protected characteristics, including sexual orientation, gender identity and race.
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Indiana Senate committee moves bias crimes bill forward

After more than three hours of testimony and discussion on Monday morning, the Senate Public Policy Committee voted to send a bias crimes bill to the full Senate for consideration. Senate Bill 12 would give judges the ability to consider whether a crime was committed out of hate or bias toward specific groups of individuals as an aggravating circumstance at sentencing.
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Indiana Senate panel hearing state hate crimes bill

Opponents and supporters of a proposed Indiana hate crimes law are arguing their positions before state legislators. A state Senate committee opened a hearing Monday morning on a bill that would create a law specifically against crimes fueled by biases regarding traits such as race, religion and sexual orientation.
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Judge who heard Nassar case won’t disqualify herself

A Michigan judge who held an extraordinary hearing before sentencing sports doctor Larry Nassar to prison for sexually assaulting female athletes refused to disqualify herself from the case Friday if higher courts send it back to fix any errors. Ingham County Judge Rosemarie Aquilina said some of her courtroom comments about Nassar were “perhaps inartful,” but she denied any bias.
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Judge to hear Nassar’s request that she disqualify herself

A judge who sentenced disgraced former sports doctor Larry Nassar to prison for molesting girls will hold a hearing on a request that she disqualify herself from his appeal of the sentence. Nassar’s court-appointed appellate lawyers said the judge was biased, citing comments such as saying she would allow someone “to do to him what he did to others” if the constitution allowed.
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Supreme Court rejects appeal from gay inmate in South Dakota

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from a gay death row inmate in South Dakota who says jurors were biased against him because of his sexual orientation. Charles Rhines tried to persuade the court to take an interest in his case after the justices last year ruled that evidence of racial bias in the jury room allows a judge to consider setting aside a verdict. 
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