National Roundup

Rhode Island
CVS Health to pay $450,000 to settle dispute

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - CVS Health will pay the government $450,000 to settle allegations that several Rhode Island pharmacy locations filled a number of forged and invalid painkiller prescriptions.

U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha announced the agreement on Monday.

It caps a two-year investigation by Neronha's office and the Drug Enforcement Administration's Office of Diversion Control into Woonsocket, Rhode Island-based CVS's retail pharmacy locations. The government alleges these locations were filling prescriptions for various controlled substances with high potential for abuse.

The government says the locations filled a number of forged prescriptions with invalid DEA numbers and multiple prescriptions written by nurse practitioners for the opioid painkiller hydrocodone.

Under the Controlled Substance Act, such painkillers can only be prescribed by a physician.

CVS has denied wrongdoing.

New York
Prosecutors say mom believed boy was possessed

NEW YORK (AP) - Prosecutors say a mother accused of tossing her newborn four stories to his death told authorities an evil spirit had taken over her son.

Rashida Chowdhury was being held without bail after her arrest late last week in the death of her month-old son, Rizwan.

According to a criminal complaint, the 21-year-old threw the baby out of her fourth-floor bathroom window around 4 a.m. on Aug. 7.

A neighbor reported hearing the child hit the ground. The baby died from blunt impact injuries.

The newborn had been hospitalized recently. According to court papers, Chowdhury said she was "stopping the pain" by throwing him out the window.

She has been charged with murder. A call to her attorney was not returned.

Maryland
2 charged with making, selling assault rifles

FREDERICK, Md. (AP) - Frederick city police say they've charged two Mount Airy men with selling illegal assault rifles they made from legally purchased parts.

Police said Monday that the AR-15 rifles lacked serial numbers, making them untraceable.

Lt. Clark Pennington says an undercover officer bought two of the guns. Pennington says three more were seized at the home of one of the suspects.

Police also raided the home of the other suspect. Pennington says the combined seizures include: 31 guns; some illegal, high-capacity handgun magazines; body armor vests; a pound of marijuana and $8,100 in cash.

Twenty-four-year-old Daniel Schumaker Jr. and 32-year-old Christopher Stooltzfoos are charged with multiple drug and firearm offenses. Schumaker's lawyer didn't immediately return a call from The Associated press. Stoltzfoos has no attorney listed in online court records.

Louisiana
Inmates ask for rehearing on death row heat

BATO ROUGE, La. (AP) - State corrections officials complained last fall to a federal appellate court that a federal judge was micromanaging the state prison by ordering heat indexes on death row not top 88 degrees from April through October.

Now, the three death-row inmates whose lawsuit against the state prompted Judge Brian Jackson's December order are claiming the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also is trying to micromanage the prison.

The Advocate reports a three-judge panel ruled last month that Jackson's order effectively required the state to air-condition death row. The panel sent the case back to the judge to consider other remedies to correct the state's violation of the three condemned prisoners' constitutional protection against cruel and unusual punishment.

Those prisoners have medical conditions, and they claim the sweltering heat on death row exacerbate those ailments.

The appeals court panel said remedies that Jackson could consider include diverting cooler air from the guards' pod on death row into the death-row tiers; air conditioning one of the four death-row tiers for the benefit of prisoners susceptible to heat-related illness; giving inmates access to cool showers at least once daily; providing ample supplies of cold drinking water and ice at all times; supplying personal ice containers and individual fans; and installing additional ice machines.

In asking the 5th Circuit panel or the entire appeals court to rehear the case, attorneys for death-row inmates Elzie Ball, Nathaniel Code and James Magee argue Jackson's order was less intrusive than the remedies suggested by the panel.

"The remedies that the Court suggests - in addition to being insufficient to remedy the constitutional violation - require more micromanaging of the prison's operation of Death Row tiers than air conditioning," the prisoners' lawyers contend in petitions filed recently at the New Orleans-based 5th Circuit.

Attorneys for the state said 5th Circuit rules do not allow the state to file a response to the petitions unless the court orders a response. The state did not ask for a rehearing.

Jackson approved the state's court-ordered remediation plan for death row last year, which included adding air conditioning, providing ice chests filled with ice and allowing death-row inmates cold showers once a day. The 5th Circuit halted the plan's implementation last summer while the case was being appealed.

"The district court did not order air conditioning," the inmates' attorneys stress in asking the entire 5th Circuit to vacate the panel's decision and rehear the case. "The district court made factual findings that a maximum heat index of 88 degrees was necessary to remove unreasonable risks, then gave the prison full latitude in the method of achieving this objective. Defendants chose air conditioning. This distinction is critical."

Alaska
State Senator seeks video in inmate's death

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A Republican state senator is appealing to the Department of Corrections commissioner in an effort to get surveillance video related to an inmate's death.

The Alaska Dispatch News reports 20-year-old Davon Mosley died in 2014 while in solitary confinement at an Anchorage jail. The mother of his three kids says the state settled a lawsuit with the family for $625,000 earlier this year.

The settlement ordered lawyers in the case to keep the video confidential. The Senate Judiciary Committee issued a subpoena to get the video, but Senate President Kevin Meyer rescinded it less than a month later over concerns that the request may have impacted other pending cases.

Sen. Lesil McGuire chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee. Her husband's law firm represented the Mosley family, which also worried Meyer.

McGuire says she'll reword the subpoena if her appeal is unsuccessful.

Published: Tue, Aug 11, 2015

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