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Oregon is urging the U.S. Supreme court to uphold the 112-year sentence given to a man who killed his parents before fatally shooting two students and wounding two dozen others at a high school 20 years ago.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports 36-year-old Kipland Kinkel filed a petition in early August to the nation's highest court for a review of his sentence in the May 1998 shootings in Springfield, Oregon.

Oregon solicitor general Benjamin Gutman filed a brief this month in response, saying the sentence shouldn't be overturned because the Oregon Supreme Court found it reflected his "irreparable corruption rather than the transience of youth."

Attorneys Thaddeus Betz and Marsha Levick have argued their client never got the chance to demonstrate that he's not "permanently incorrigible" before the state imposed the sentence.



The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to hear an appeal by Virginia Republicans who are trying to preserve state legislative districts that have been struck down by a lower court as racially discriminatory.

The case involves 11 districts in the Virginia House of Delegates. Democratic voters accuse Republicans, who hold the majority, of packing black voters into certain districts to make surrounding districts whiter and more Republican.

A three-judge federal court in Virginia ruled 2-1 in June in favor of the Democratic voters and has appointed a redistricting expert to draw a new legislative map with a Dec. 7 deadline. Kirk Cox, the Republican speaker of the Virginia House, said he is weighing whether to ask the lower court to delay the issuance of a new map until after the Supreme Court rules.

Arguments probably will take place in late February, with a ruling likely by late June. The next round of elections for the state House is 2019, and candidates would normally have to register in the spring and run in primaries in the summer.

Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam's office and House Democratic leader David Toscano did not immediately return requests for comment. Marc Elias, a lawyer representing the voters, predicted on Twitter that the justices would rule in his clients' favor.

The Supreme Court already has ruled once in the case. Last year, the justices voted 7-1 to throw out an earlier ruling that had upheld the challenged districts.




North Carolina's Supreme Court is re-evaluating whether forcing sex offenders to be perpetually tracked by GPS-linked devices, sometimes for the rest of their lives, is justified or a Constitution-violating unreasonable search.

The state's highest court next month takes up the case of repeat sex offender Torrey Grady. It comes three years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in his case that mandating GPS ankle monitors for ex-cons is a serious privacy concern.

"There's different possible outcomes of the case. One is that it's never reasonable at all. Another is that it's reasonable, maybe while the person is still on post-release supervision" for five years after prison release, said James Markham, a professor who focuses on criminal law at the University of North Carolina's School of Government. "Another possibility is that it's reasonable for the rest of their life."

Grady took his case to the nation's top court arguing that having his movements forever monitored violated his constitutional protection against unreasonable searches. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that attaching a device to a person's body in order to track their movements qualifies as a "search" and a question of constitutional rights. But the decision left it up to states to decide whether imposed monitoring is reasonable, and for how long.



A Malaysian court on Wednesday set Jan. 7 for two Southeast Asian women charged with murdering the North Korean leader’s half brother to begin their defense, as their lawyers complained that some witnesses were unreachable.

A High Court judge in August found there was enough evidence to infer that Indonesian Siti Aisyah and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, along with four missing North Korean suspects, had engaged in a “well-planned conspiracy” to kill Kim Jong Nam.

The women appeared somber but calm during Wednesday’s hearing. The trial had been due to resume Nov. 1 but was postponed after a defense lawyer fell ill.

Aisyah’s lawyers made a new application to the court to compel prosecutors to provide them with statements that eight witnesses had given to police earlier.

Her lawyer, Kulaselvi Sandrasegaram, said they were informed that one of the witnesses, the man who chauffeured Kim to the airport, had died while two Indonesian women who were Aishah’s roommates were believed to have returned to their homeland. She said they have only managed to interview two of the witnesses offered by prosecutors, while two others didn’t turn up for their appointments and couldn’t be contacted.

The witness statements taken by police are important in “the interest of justice” and to ensure that what they say to defense lawyers is consistent with what they told police, Sandrasegaram told reporters later.

Prosecutor Iskandar Ahmad said the police interviews are privileged statements and shouldn’t be made public.

Judge Azmi Ariffin said the court will make a decision on the defense application on Dec. 14. He also set 10 days from Jan. 7 through February for Aishah’s defense and 14 days from March 11 through April for Huong.

The two are accused of smearing VX nerve agent on Kim’s face in an airport terminal in Kuala Lumpur on Feb. 13, 2017. They have said they thought they were taking part in a prank for a TV show. They are the only suspects in custody. The four North Korean suspects fled the country the same morning Kim was killed.

Lawyers for Aisyah, 25, and Huong, 29, have told the judge they will testify under oath in their defense.

They have said their clients were pawns in a political assassination with clear links to the North Korean Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, and that the prosecution failed to show the women had any intention to kill. Their intent is key to concluding they are guilty of murder.


The Supreme Court is refusing a new invitation to rule on gun rights, leaving in place California restrictions on carrying concealed handguns in public.

The justices on Monday rejected an appeal from Sacramento residents who argued that they were unfairly denied permits to be armed in public.

The complaint alleged that a prior Sacramento sheriff who was in charge of handgun permits arbitrarily rewarded friends.

The state urged the court to reject the case, noting that a new sheriff has changed the permit policy. But California Attorney General Xavier Becerra acknowledged that state and local gun restrictions might someday “warrant further consideration by this court.”

The court has rejected several appeals asking it to elaborate on the extent of gun rights it declared in decisions in 2008 and 2010.


The Supreme Court says new Justice Brett Kavanaugh won't take the traditional walk down the courthouse steps after his ceremonial installation on the court because of security concerns.

Kavanaugh's investiture ceremony is scheduled for Thursday morning in the courtroom. It is customary for a new justice to walk down the 44 marble steps in front of the building, accompanied by the chief justice. The moment provides a chance for news organizations to photograph the justice, since the courtroom event is closed to cameras.

Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said Friday that the change is being made "out of an abundance of caution due to security concerns."

Kavanaugh was confirmed Oct. 6 by a 50-48 Senate vote following an allegation he sexually assaulted a woman decades ago. He denied any wrongdoing.



An Iowa attorney has filed documents in state court challenging the validity of Gov. Kim Reynolds’ appointment of an eastern Iowa judge.

Lawyer Gary Dickey says Reynolds failed to appoint Judge Jason Besler within 30 days as required by the Iowa Constitution.

Reynolds filed the paperwork to appoint Besler in June five days after the deadline had passed. She says she made the appointment by the deadline verbally to her chief of staff but acknowledges no documentation exists to prove it.

Dickey, who served as former Democratic Gov. Tom Vilsack’s chief attorney, filed documents Thursday seeking permission of the court to challenge Besler’s appointment.

Dickey also seeks to move it from eastern Iowa, where Besler sits as a judge, to Des Moines to avoid having fellow district judges ruling on his status.

In October Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady said the governor’s word that the appointment was timely deserves respect unless resolved differently through the legal proces


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