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Archive for Sunday, February 15, 2004

Briefly

February 15, 2004

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Phoenix

Jury in case of bishop restarts deliberations

The jury in the hit-and-run case of Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas O'Brien began deliberating from scratch after a judge excused one juror and called a substitute.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Stephen Gerst said only that the juror was excused Friday for personal reasons, and told jurors not to speculate on reasons for the substitution.

The jury had deliberated about 3 1/2 hours on Thursday.

O'Brien, 68, could get anything from probation to 3 3/4 years in prison if convicted of leaving the scene of the accident that killed pedestrian Jim Reed, who was jaywalking when he was hit June 14.

The bishop, whose arrest ended his 21-year career as head of the Phoenix diocese, said he thought he hit a dog or had been struck by a rock.

California

Anti-tobacco groups protest Schwarzenegger

Anti-tobacco groups on Saturday protested Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's efforts to return the smoke-filled room to California's political lexicon.

To comply with the state's strict smoking laws, the cigar-loving Schwarzenegger is converting the Capitol's interior courtyard into an all-weather "smoking plaza" where he can entertain lawmakers and other power brokers.

"It's a more positive environment where they can all be on an equal footing, as opposed to everyone going into the governor's office where he's behind his desk," Schwarzenegger spokeswoman Terri Carbaugh said.

But some protesters said Schwarzenegger was undermining California's precedent-setting efforts to cut tobacco use and its staggering health and financial costs.

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