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Judge rules S.D. same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional

SD marriage ban overruledA federal judge on Monday declared South Dakota's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional, but stayed the decision pending appeal.

U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier issued a summary judgment in favor of the six couples who filed the lawsuit last year in Sioux Falls. The federal complaint challenges a 1996 law passed by the Legislature and a voter-approved 2006 constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, which means such cases are now pending in 30 states with gay marriage bans.


Albuquerque Police Officers Face Murder Charges Over 2014 Shooting

Albuquerque police charged with 2014 murderMonths after a deadly encounter that touched off contentious protests, two police officers who were captured on video shooting and killing an unarmed man in the foothills of Albuquerque, N.M., will face murder charges. James Boyd, 38, was killed after illegally camping in the city.

Bernalillo County District Attorney Kari Brandenburg announced Monday that "a single count of open murder" has been filed against each of two officers: Keith Sandy and Dominique Perez of the Albuquerque Police Department. Sandy retired late in 2014 at the rank of detective.


Supreme Court rejects Louisiana gay marriage case, takes no action on four others

SC rejects Louisiana gay marriage caseThe U.S. Supreme Court, which is in the midst of deciding whether to take up the issue of gay marriage, on Monday declined to take an early look at a challenge to Louisiana’s state ban.

The court took no action on four other pending cases concerning gay marriage bans in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee, but could act on those cases as soon as later this week.


New Pennsylvania Law Causes Towns To Weaken Gun Restrictions

Pennsylvania gun regulations easedBarely a week after taking effect, a novel state law that makes it easier for gun-rights groups to challenge local firearms measures in court is already sparking change: Nearly two dozen Pennsylvania municipalities have agreed to get rid of their potentially problematic ordinances rather than face litigation.

Joshua Prince, an attorney for four pro-gun groups and several residents, cited the new law in putting nearly 100 Pennsylvania municipalities on notice that they would face legal action unless they rescinded their firearms laws.


NASA researcher dies in L.A. plane crash

NASA rsearcher dies in plane crashAn Arizona State University researcher has been identified as the pilot who died when a small plane went down Friday on a Los Angeles street, officials said.

The deceased pilot was identified as Alberto Behar, 47, of Scottsdale, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner.

Behar was an employee at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and also a researcher at ASU's School of Earth and Space Exploration, according to his profile on LinkedIn, a networking website.


George Zimmerman arrested on aggravated assault charge

George Zimmerman arrested againFlorida authorities say George Zimmerman, whose acquittal of murdering an unarmed black teen sparked a national debate on race and self-defense laws, has been arrested on an aggravated assault charge.

The Seminole County Sheriff's Office says the 31-year-old Zimmerman was arrested in Lake Mary about 10 p.m. Friday and is being held at the John E. Polk Correctional Facility. The facility's website says Zimmerman is scheduled for a court appearance at 9 a.m. Saturday.


Another man wrongfully convicted of murder exonerated after more than 20 years behind bars

Freed after 20 yearsA Brooklyn man who spent more than 20 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit was finally exonerated Friday — the fourth wrongful conviction that was secured by a now-discredited former NYPD homicide detective.

Derrick Hamilton, 49, wept tears of joy in the courtroom as his conviction was erased by the words of Supreme Court Justice Raymond Guzman who urged that no fault be placed on the jurors who found him guilty.


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