National District Attorneys Association Newsclips August 2, 2011

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1 National District Attorneys Association Newsclips August 2, 2011 Today s Clip Headlines Alabama Courts: A Month s Notice For One-Third Of Court Employees Harris Starts Push For Statewide Crime Database State Lawmakers: Cities Can t Ban Guns In Parks, Town Halls Idaho Appellate Court To Hear Arguments Next Week Bangor Police Chief Says Bath Salts Creating Crisis Gazette Opinion: Repeat DUIs Run Into New Testing Law Cuomo Signs Domestic Violence Firearm Protection Bill Bearing Arms in Public Is Next Legal Battlefield Clip Synopses and Links The Birmingham News Alabama Courts: A Month s Notice For One-Third Of Court Employees The official month-long notice starts today for massive layoffs in state court clerks offices, the latest blow to a trial court system already reeling from previous budget cuts. About one-third of the 750 employees in clerks offices statewide will be laid off effective Aug. 31, state court officials said last week. That includes 22 workers in Jefferson County and six in Shelby County. The layoffs are timed so the 255 workers will be off the state payroll before the court system s new, leaner budget takes effect Oct. 1, court officials said. Elected court clerks may rehire some employees with money from the clerk s restitution fund, a separate income stream from a court fee. Anne-Marie Adams, the elected top clerk in Jefferson County, said she will hire back eight people. The cuts will hamper the offices performance in processing documents filed in circuit, district and family courts, officials said. California Watch Harris Starts Push For Statewide Crime Database

2 California Attorney General Kamala Harris wants the state s police departments to talk to each other. That is, she wants them to exchange crime data and information about parolees as part of a broad effort to create a statewide electronic network. Such a system would pump local police intelligence into the attorney general s office. In turn, the state s top lawyer would distribute research on how officers can better police their streets, as well as details on international gangs operating here. Harris and several Southern California police executives unveiled the first piece of the network last week. It is called the Community Based Information System and is run by the Los Angeles County Sheriff s Department and linked in with 23 other police, school and housing agencies. The system is advertised as a tool to put thefts and assaults into context for officers. Put simply, it adds demographic data to crime maps, showing neighborhoods racial makeup and where residents are more likely struggling to pay their bills. Police departments have been exchanging incident data through systems like CompStat for more than a decade. This network differs in the diversity of data it pulls together, said Lt. Cheryl Newman- Tarwater, who oversees the new system for the Los Angeles County sheriff. The Miami Herald State Lawmakers: Cities Can t Ban Guns In Parks, Town Halls A new state law means that scores of local gun rules have to be repealed by Oct. 1. Do handguns belong in South Florida s parks and recreation centers and city halls? They do according to the Florida Legislature. Under a new law that takes effect Oct. 1, all of the state s cities and counties must repeal local rules limiting gun ownership. Although the state has claimed sole right to regulate firearms since 1987, this year s new law adds fines for local officials who fail to comply, and gives gun owners a right to sue for damages if they believe their rights have been violated. Though the initial bill suggested a fine of $5 million, the final legislation lowered the amount to $5,000. The result: Local leaders have begun to comply, cancelling laws that kept guns out of parks and community buildings, and taking down signs warning visitors not to bring 2

3 firearms to such places. The Idaho Statesman Idaho Appellate Court To Hear Arguments Next Week The Idaho Court of Appeals is meeting next week to hear arguments in five cases, including an appeal from a convicted sex offender and one from someone convicted of assault. Scott Cadman is challenging the state s decision to label him a violent sexual predator based on crimes he was convicted of while in Oregon. A lower court said Cadman waited too long to challenge the designation and that a previous Idaho Supreme Court ruling doesn t apply to his case. He s appealing the lower court s dismissal of his case. Bangor Daily News Bangor Police Chief Says Bath Salts Creating Crisis Saying Maine in general and the Bangor area in particular will see things get worse before they get better, Police Chief Ron Gastia said bath salts problems are rapidly approaching epidemic levels. Gastia and medical professionals said bath salts incidents, which Bangor Councilor Geoffrey Gratwick said should be called bath poisons, have increased almost exponentially. Billings Gazette Gazette Opinion: Repeat DUIs Run Into New Testing Law A late-night phone call between Yellowstone County Justice of the Peace Larry Herman and Billings Police Patrolman Thomas Keightley marked the debut of a new tool to curb Montana s drinking problem. A man already convicted five times of driving drunk had been stopped again. His speech 3

4 was slurred, his eyes bloodshot. He smelled of alcohol, and an open beer can was on the front seat of his truck when Billings police answered an 11 p.m. call about a reckless driver. But the 45-year-old man refused to take a breath test. That s when the new law was applied. Keightley, one of 14 local officers who have been trained in applying for a telephonic DUI search warrant under a law enacted this year, gathered information for a warrant. All city, county and state officers working in Yellowstone County will be trained to apply for the new DUI search warrant, according to County Attorney Scott Twito. The new law applies only to suspects who have previous convictions for DUI or previous refusals of a breath test. This suspect met that criteria. Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester) Cuomo Signs Domestic Violence Firearm Protection Bill Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law Monday a bill that would bar people convicted of domestic-violence misdemeanors from purchasing firearms, plugging a gap in New York s system. Federal law forbids the sale of firearms to individuals convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. But New York s law didn t require the courts to forward those names to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which is used for background checks of those buying firearms. The new law will require courts in New York to determine whether the crime conforms to the federal domestic violence statute. If it does, the defendant s information will be forwarded to the state Division of Criminal Justice Services, which then will pass the data to the federal government. topnews text Home The Wall Street Journal Bearing Arms in Public Is Next Legal Battlefield Gun-ownership advocates are filing lawsuits in courts across the U.S., hoping to get rulings that people have a constitutional right not only to keep firearms in their homes, 4

5 but to carry them in public. The suits could affect the direction of gun-control legislation for years to come. Two recently filed suits in Illinois are among a handful that could ultimately provide the U.S. Supreme Court its next opportunity to clarify the rather murky outlines of the Second Amendment, which protects the right to bear arms. mod=itp_pageone_1 Upcoming Courses To see a full list of our upcoming courses, their dates, summaries and registration forms, please visit Member Benefits New NDAA membership benefits available: Need Case Assistance? NDAA can help. Send a message to NDAA s prosecutor assistance address and we will get your request to one of our program specialists or out to prosecutors around the country. 5

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