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Archive for Wednesday, May 7, 2003

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May 7, 2003

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Virginia: Sniper case confession OK'd

Sniper suspect Lee Boyd Malvo's laughing confession to two of the deadly attacks can be used against him at trial this fall, a judge ruled Tuesday in a decision experts say gives prosecutors a key weapon in their push for a death sentence.

Virtually the entire statement Malvo gave to police Nov. 7 can be admitted as evidence, Circuit Judge Jane Marum Roush ruled over defense objections that Malvo was denied access to a lawyer.

Roush did toss out the first two hours of the six-hour interrogation that occurred before Malvo signed a form with an "X" waiving his right to a lawyer and his right to remain silent. Police characterized that portion of the interview as chitchat.

Washington, D.C.: Pollution forecasts planned

The daily weather forecast could begin including the outlook for air pollution under an agreement announced Tuesday by two government agencies.

The Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said they would work together to develop a method to report and forecast pollution, including ozone levels and particulate matter in the air.

The first phase calls for daily forecasts for ozone in the northeastern United States by September 2004. Within five years, the system is to be expanded nationwide, with the overall air quality forecasting projected to be able to forecast particulate matter and provide a four-day forecast within 10 years.

San Francisco: Court takes hard line on guns

Over several vigorous dissents, the federal appeals court in San Francisco on Tuesday reaffirmed its ruling that there is no constitutional right for individuals to keep and bear arms, setting the stage for possible review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied a request for a rehearing of last December's decision upholding California's Assault Weapons Control Act.

That decision, declaring that the Second Amendment protects only the right of states to organize and maintain militias, is directly at odds with the Bush administration and a ruling by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

The dissenters accused the original three-judge majority of ignoring history and of rendering a stingy interpretation of the Second Amendment, which states, "A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

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