Archive for Wednesday, October 25, 2000

National Briefs

October 25, 2000

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New York

Hostage-taker sent to solitary confinement

Kenneth Kimes will be kept in solitary confinement for eight years as punishment for taking a Court TV reporter hostage during an Oct. 10 interview at the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, state prison officials said this week.

In addition to being confined to his cell for 23 hours each day, Kimes will be denied the right to use telephones for collect calls, receive packages and purchase goods from the prison commissary, officials said.




Virginia

Treasure-hunter leaves court battle

The question of who owns two shipwrecks off the Virginia coast has been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, but a key figure has dropped out of the case.

Ben Benson has sold his Chincoteague-based exploration company, Sea Hunt Inc., to investors, Anthony Troy, an attorney for the company, said Monday. Benson was fighting for the right to keep his salvage rights to two Spanish warships he found in the Chesapeake Bay.

A federal appeals court ruled over the summer that Spain owns the wrecks. The U.S. government supported Spain, arguing that allowing the salvage of foreign warships would subject U.S. vessels to the same fate.




BOSTON

Tattoo ban labeled unconstitutional

A Massachusetts law banning tattooing except by physicians has been deemed unconstitutional by a judge who suggested the state would be better served by licensing and regulating the industry.

The tattoo ban dates to the 1960s and was challenged this year by Martha's Vineyard residents John Parkinson and Stephan Lanphear.

Their lawsuit, filed in conjunction with the American Civil Liberties Union, claimed that marking the human body is a protected form of expression.

Superior Court Judge Barbara Rouse on Monday agreed.

Tattooing in Massachusetts had been punishable by up to a year in jail or a $300 fine. South Carolina and Oklahoma also treat tattooing as a crime.

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