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Ammon Bundy, others refuse to enter pleas in 2014 Nevada standoff

Ammon Bundy refuses to pleaBrothers Ammon and Ryan Bundy and three other defendants refused to enter pleas during an arraignment Friday in connection to a 2014 armed standoff with law enforcement at their father's ranch.

Pleas of "not guilty" were entered by U.S. Magistrate Judge George Foley Jr., on behalf of Ammon, 40, and Ryan, 43, as well as Ryan Payne, 32, Brian Cavalier, 44, and Blaine Cooper, 36.


Rule targets prosecutors who don't reveal innocence evidence

Robert Wilcoxson— As four men sat in prison for a murder they didn't commit, records show that state investigators sent proof of their innocence to a North Carolina prosecutor, but he never revealed it to the convicted men.

He didn't have to. Nothing in North Carolina's legal standards requires a prosecutor to turn over evidence of innocence after a conviction.

The four, along with a fifth who also was convicted, were eventually cleared through the work of a commission that investigates innocence -- but not until they'd served years in prison, including several years when a judge says the prosecutor and sheriff "did nothing to follow up on" another man's confession.

Some people now are calling for change.

TVNL Comment:  This hardly sounds possible, but it is....and so often in the South, and so often after the wrongful conviction of someone of color.


Man released in '57 murder case after new evidence surfaces

Jack McCullough freed after 57 yearsA 76-year-old man serving a life sentence for the 1957 killing of a 7-year-old girl in Illinois was released from prison Friday after a judge vacated his conviction and ordered a new trial.

Jack McCullough, a former cop in Washington state who was convicted in a 2012 bench trial for the killing of Maria Ridulph, long insisted he wasn't even in Sycamore, about 65 miles from Chicago, when Maria was abducted in December 1957. Her body was found in the nearby town of Galena five months after she was reported missing.


Mississippi Jails Are Losing Inmates, And Local Officials Are ‘Devastated’ By The Loss Of Revenue

Mississippi prisonCounty officials across Mississippi are warning of job losses and deep deficits as local jails are being deprived of the state inmates needed to keep them afloat. The culprit, say local officials, is state government and private prisons, which are looking to boost their own revenue as sentencing and drug-policy reforms are sending fewer bodies into the correctional system.

In the late 1990s, as the overcrowded Mississippi prison system buckled under the weight of mass incarceration, the state asked local governments to build local correctional institutions to house state prisoners. It was billed as a win-win: The Mississippi Department of Correction would foot the bill for each prisoner, and the counties would get good jobs guarding them. The state guaranteed that the local jails would never be less than 80 percent occupied, and the locals would get a 3 percent boost in compensation each year.


Cirque du Soleil scraps NC shows over bathroom law

Cirque de Soleil refuses to perform in NCCirque du Soleil on Friday announced that it is cancelling its scheduled performances in North Carolina over the state’s law codifying which bathroom a transgender person must use.

“Cirque du Soleil strongly believes in diversity and equality for every individual and is opposed to discrimination in any form,” the performing troupe wrote on its Facebook page. "The new HB2 legislation passed in North Carolina is an important regression to ensuring human rights for all.


Supreme court considers taking case of man given life in prison for growing pot

SCOTUS to take up life sentence for growing potThe US supreme court is poised on Friday to decide whether to take on the case of a 76-year-old disabled army veteran handed a sentence of life in prison without parole for growing marijuana in his back yard to alleviate his own health problems.

If the court does not review the case, Lee Carroll Brooker is destined to die behind bars even though judges in his native Alabama have declared this was not an appropriate punishment.


Board OKs Parole for Former Manson Cult Member Van Houten

Leslie Van HoutenA California panel recommended parole Thursday for former Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten more than four decades after she went to prison for the notorious killings of a wealthy grocer and his wife.

The decision will now undergo administrative review by the Board of Parole Hearings. If upheld it goes to Gov. Jerry Brown, who has the final word on whether the now-66-year-old Van Houten is released from the California Institution for Women in Chino.


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