[JURIST] Leading Monday's states brief, the Illinois Supreme Court [official website] has denied the request of the Associated Press [website] and two newspapers for access to transcripts of a pre-trial hearing involving a state murder charge arising out of the drowning deaths of three children. The crganizations argued unsuccessfully that a lower court judge had not met the standards set by the US Supreme Court for closing the hearing. The pre-trial hearing addressed the admissibility of evidence that the prosecution desired to use in its case. AP has more.
In other state legal news ...
- The US Supreme Court [official website] has stayed the execution of a Virginia man, Robin Lovitts, scheduled for Monday. In 2000, the Supreme Court of Virginia affirmed [decision text] Lovitts's conviction and death sentence and in 2003 ruled [decision text] that his due process rights were not violated when a court employee ordered evidence used at his trial destroyed, which made subsequent DNA analysis impossible. When the US Supreme Court resumes in October, it will either hear the appeal or allow Virginia to carry out the execution. AP has more.
- Illinois Governor Rod R. Blagojevich has signed into law [press release] a number of bills creating tougher laws against sex offenders, including House Bill 2386 [text] that allows for certain sex offenders to be placed on lifetime parole and changes current law providing for a maximum of five years parole for all sex offenders. Blagojevich also signed into law a bill [text] requiring sex offenders to notify law enforcement within five days of no longer having a fixed address, a bill [text] regulating the number of sex offenders who can live in one place, and a bill [text] prohibiting sex offenders from loitering anywhere within 500 feet of a school or school property. The Chicago Tribune has local coverage.
- The California Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] will consider revised legislation that includes legalizing same-sex marriage tomorrow. After a bill legalizing same-sex marriage [PDF text] failed in the Assembly last month bu just four votes, the measure was amended into a marine research bill that will go before the committee. If the bill passes the Senate, it will return to the Assembly [official website] for a final vote. AP has more.