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In a follow-up to the post about Bishop Samuel Mullet, a federal court sentenced the Amish man to 15 years in prison on Friday.  The US Attorney’s Office requested that Mr. Mullet serve life in prison.

For more information, go to:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/02/08/171503838/amish-beard-cutting-ring-leader-sentenced-to-15-years-in-prison

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The new expansion to the Pennsylvania castle doctrine will take effect on Saturday, August 27th, 2011.  (h/t NRA-ILA)

For more information, go to:

UPDATE: In the News: Pa governor signs bill expanding Castle Doctrine

In the News: PA Castle Doctrine Bill passes state senate

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On July 7th, 2011, Governor Tom Corbett signed a law into effect that would immunize underage drinkers from criminal charges if they are seeking medical attention for another person.  The purpose of this law is to encourage underage drinkers to call for help if they see another person who is “in need of immediate medical attention to prevent death or serious injury.”

To qualify for amnesty under the new law, a person must show that the only reason why law enforcement became aware of the underage drinking (or possession of alcohol) was because 1.) the underaged person called for help in a situation where they reasonably believed that another person was in need of serious medical attention, 2.) the underaged person reasonably believed that he was the first to call for help, 3.) the underaged person gave his name to the emergency responder when he called for help, 4.) the underaged person stayed with the person suffering a medical emergency until help arrived and his presence is no longer necessary.

For more information, go to:

In the News: Pa considers underage drinking amnesty law

http://www.legis.state.pa.us/CFDOCS/Legis/PN/Public/btCheck.cfm?txtType=PDF&sessYr=2011&sessInd=0&billBody=S&billTyp=B&billNbr=0448&pn=1458

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The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Governor Tom Corbett has signed a Pennsylvania bill expanding the castle doctrine.  Under the previous law, if a person faced the threat of death or serious bodily injury outside of their home or place of work was able to retreat with complete safety, self-defense with deadly force was not permitted.  With the new law, it is now permissible to meet a threat of death or serious bodily injury with deadly force regardless of the location as long as the person is legally permitted to be at the location.  The new bill also provides protection from civil liability for those who use deadly force legally.

For more information, go to:

http://bickerton-law.com/2011/06/20/in-the-news-pa-castle-doctrine-bill-passes-state-senate/

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11179/1156785-100.stm

http://www.nraila.org/News/Read/NewsReleases.aspx?ID=15275

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The Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports that the Allegheny County sex offender residency restriction ordinance has been rejected by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.  The court concluded that the local residency restriction is invalid because it “clearly interferes with the statewide operation of the Sentencing and Parole Codes and with the General Assembly’s policies in these arenas.”  The 3rd Circuit Court of the United States previously concluded that the residency restrictions were improper and petitioned the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to determine whether the local residency restrictions were pre-empted by Megan’s Law.  The Pennsylvania Supreme Court concluded that the state legislature already provided for the supervision and restriction of sex offender’s residences and that local government bodies are therefore precluded from enacting their own restrictions.

 

For more information:

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/breaking/s_739096.html

http://www.aopc.org/OpPosting/Supreme/out/J-79-2010mo.pdf

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The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that US District Judge Gustave Diamond has denied a defendant’s motion to suppress evidence and dismiss charges in a case where the evidence was destroyed before trial.  In this case, the Allegheny County District Attorney’s office permitted drug evidence and a coin purse allegedly seized from the defendant to be incinerated. Before granting the request to incinerate the evidence, the District Attorney’s Office was not aware that the United States Attorney General’s Office was prosecuting the case.  The defense argued that it was substantially impaired by the destruction of evidence and requested that the court dismiss the charges and suppress the destroyed evidence.  After considering the motions, Judge Diamond concluded that the evidence was not destroyed in bad faith and that the prosecution was not put on notice that the defendant found the coin purse to be exculpatory evidence.

 

For more information, go to:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11109/1140430-100.stm?cmpid=latest.xml

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Pittsburgh City Council has unanimously passed an ordinance banning city residents from keeping upholstered furniture designed for indoor use on an unenclosed porch. The ordinance will now go to Mayor Luke Ravenstahl for approval. (As the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette noted, the ordinance’s “veto-proof majority suggests it will become part of city code.”

For more information, go to:

http://postgazette.com/pg/09076/956250-100.stm

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After consulting with local prosecutors, Colorado State police withdrew the jaywalking charge against Jim Moffett. Moffett was seriously injured after being hit by a truck while attempting to help two women cross the street.

For more information, go to:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090228/ap_on_re_us/good_samaritan_ticketed

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Alabama Sheriff Greg Bartlett, who was previously placed in his own jail for failing to adequately feed his inmates, has agreed to spend all money designated for inmate meals on actually feeding the inmates. Sheriff Bartlett has also agreed to follow USDA guidelines and give inmates fresh milk and fruit.

Under the current policy, Alabama sheriffs are permitted to keep the difference between the amount of money provided to feed inmates and the actual cost of feeding the inmates. Previously, Sheriff Bartlett retained approximately $212,000 in profit while inmates were under-fed.

For more information, go to:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28582711/

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While a survey indicates that almost 98% of emergency room doctors suspect that police use excessive force, many national police groups dispute the findings.

For more information, go to:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-01-06-police-force_N.htm

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