News Roundup

The biggest news of the past week was, of course, the election. Results for judicial and district attorney races are available here from the State Board of elections. (You have to scroll through some other races to get to them.) The balance of the appellate courts doesn’t look like it’s going to change dramatically, but the makeup of the General Assembly will. What a Republican-controlled legislature means for criminal law, court funding and other topics of interest to our readers remains to be seen.

In other news:

1. The election was interesting across the country. For example, in California, the ballot measure that would have legalized marijuana (under state law) went down in defeat. And in Iowa, three justices of the state supreme court were not retained, apparently because of their votes in a decision legalizing gay marriage.

2. Halloween has also come and gone since the last news roundup. My favorite story about the festivities is this one, about the guy who dressed as a breathalyzer, then got stopped for DWI. Amazingly, the same thing happened last year.

3. The United States Supreme Court is back in session. It recently heard oral arguments in a case asking whether California can ban the sale of violent video games to minors. The New York Times has the story here, but the best line of the day went to Justice Alito, who told one of the lawyers that ““What Justice Scalia wants to know . . . is what James Madison thought about video games.”

4. Finally, Sentencing Law and Policy recently ran this post about defense efforts to extend Graham v. Florida to bar LWOP sentences for juveniles convicted of homicides. The post briefly highlights inmate “Joseph Ligon, 73, a Pennsylvania inmate who has been in prison about 57 years [serving a] life-without-parole sentence he received for his role in two murders committed when he was 15.”

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