National Roundup

Massachusetts
Court: Staying drug free can be condition of ­probation


BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts’ highest court has upheld the authority of judges to order people with addiction to stay drug free as a condition of probation.

In Monday’s unanimous decision, the Supreme Judicial Court said Julie Eldred’s constitutional rights were not violated when she was jailed for 10 days in 2016 for using drugs while on probation for larceny.

Eldred’s lawyer argued in the closely-watched case that jailing people with substance use disorder for failing to stay clean on probation unfairly punishes them for something beyond their control.

The justices disagreed, calling the actions of the lower court and probation department “exemplary.”

The state attorney general’s office urged the court to uphold the drug-free probation requirement, saying it can help people recover and reduce
incarceration rates.

Eldred’s attorney didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.


New York
Woman who killed daughter in ’80s granted parole on 7th try

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A New York woman convicted of killing her infant daughter in the 1980s and suspected of killing seven of her eight other children has been granted parole.

The state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision says Monday that 75-year-old Marybeth Tinning could be released from prison as early as next month. Her release from a Westchester County prison was approved last week after a parole hearing, her seventh since being imprisoned in 1987.

A jury convicted the Schenectady resident of killing her ninth child, 4-month-old Tami Lynne, in December 1985. She was one of Marybeth and Joseph Tinning’s eight young children to die between 1972 and 1985 under suspicious circumstances.

Authorities believe the couple’s first child died of natural causes.

Marybeth Tinning was sentenced to 20 years to life.


Wisconsin
Neubauer says she’s raised $350,000 for Supreme Court race

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — In an early sign of strength, newly announced Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Lisa Neubauer says she’s already raised more than $358,000.

Neubauer publicly launched her candidacy last week, but a campaign finance report filed Monday shows she had been quietly raising money for the effort for weeks. The report shows she has nearly $358,000 cash on hand.

Neubauer is the chief justice on the state appeals court. She is running to replace retiring Justice Shirley Abrahamson. The election is in April.

No other candidate has officially announced, but several are considering running. They include state appeals court judge Brian Hagedorn, Waukesha County Circuit Judge Maria Lazar and Jefferson County District Attorney Susan Happ.


Pennsylvania
DA mulls options after ­resentencing ordered by court

CARLISLE, Pa. (AP) — A central Pennsylvania prosecutor says he will review options after an appeals court ordered a new sentencing hearing for a man convicted of killing a police officer almost a quarter-century ago.

A three-judge 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel last week ordered resentencing of Seifullah Abdul-Salaam, who is now 47, PennLive.com reported. He was convicted of shooting 30-year-old New Cumberland officer Willis Cole three times during an August 1994 robbery at a New Cumberland coin shop.

The appeals court ruled the defendant had ineffective counsel during his 1995 Cumberland County murder trial because his attorney didn’t call witnesses about abuse he suffered growing up.

District Attorney Skip Ebert said that although the gravity of an officer’s murder is self-evident to anyone in law enforcement, he needs time to review options — which include an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court — and consult victims, including Cole’s family.

“I’m going to look at it very carefully,” Ebert said Thursday.

Authorities said Abdul-Salaam and an accomplice walked into D&S Coins on Aug. 19, 1994 and robbed owner Dale Rishal. Responding officers arrested the accomplice, but Abdul-Salaam had escaped.

Authorities said Cole was in the process of handcuffing the accomplice when Abdul-Salaam emerged from an alley and fired in an effort to spring his would-be getaway driver. Both robbers were recaptured within an hour, but Cole — a husband and father — died from his wounds.

Rishel, who was cutting tape from his ankles when he heard the fatal gunbattle outside his store, said after the appeals court ruling that he thinks “the original sentence should stand, big-time.”

“That was actually cold-blooded murder what he did to Willis Cole.” Rishel said.


Ohio
Trump’s Supreme Court nominee donated money to Democrat


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — President’s Donald Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court once donated money to the Ohio Democrat who is currently running for governor.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh donated $250 to now-gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray’s unsuccessful bid for state attorney general in 1998. The newspaper reports Kavanaugh also donated $1,000 to Cordray’s failed bid for U.S. Senate in 2000.

Cordray and Kavanaugh both worked at the law firm, Kirkland & Ellis, in Washington D.C. They both also clerked for retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy — though not at the same time.

Kavanaugh also donated to many Republican candidates over the years.

Cordray has criticized Kavanaugh’s nomination saying the pick underscores the need for a governor who will “fight back against attempts to undermine our rights.”

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