A Teen Ran News
Death Penalty Decision
It is the moment everyone has been waiting for, the jury has finaly sat down in the 26 year old Victor Grant's case. Victor Grant was charged with aggravated murder, aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery, and tampering with evidence. If the jury finds him guilty, the second phase of the trial will be held to determine his fate. The victim was Leroy Jones. Authorities said Gantt attacked him, beating the 75-year-old man to death with an ax. The act was random, police said, with Gant breaking through a glass door, attacking Jones and then trashing the house. They are coming to the decision if he should plea guily or not gulity. The defendant faces a Catch 22: if he pleads guilty, he can present that plea as a mitigating factor, but he then loses his right to a sentencing jury. Along with that he will have to face a judicial panel that has historically imposed a high number of death sentences. They are notorious for implementing these on people who have pleaded guilty. On the other hand, if he maintains his not guilty plea, he preserves his right to a sentencing jury, but forfeits his constitutional right for that jury to consider his guilty plea as his possible strongest mitigation evidence. Grant has a hard deicicion to make which is what everyone has been waiting for. In the past 10 years, this panel that he will have to face if he pleas guilty has imposed the death penalty on 60 percent of the people who have chosen to plea gulity. If he pleas not guilty he will have the face a sentencing jury who has only chosen death one out of ten sentences. The decision might seem easy to some, but many different factors play in his fate. Grant’s lawyer is Malynda Cook. Cook’s law partner, Chris Pagan, said he filed motions like this numerous times, when he was still defending death penalty clients. He even appealed the issue to the Ohio and U.S. Supreme Courts but failed because the courts said it wasn’t an appealable issue because the case hadn’t yet concluded. To preserve the issue for appeal, his client would have to plead guilty and lose the constitutional right to a jury trial, Pagan said. All these factors are playing in to Grants decision on whether to plea guilty or not guilty.
Texting and Driving in Anchorage
An Anchorage teenager, Murphy Madison Gross, was texting behind the wheel when he ran a red light and killed a 27-year-old mother of two earlier this year in Midtown. A grand jury indicted the 16-year-old Thursday on manslaughter, felony texting-while-driving and other charges. Along with these charges, the teen is accused of stealing his dad's new SUV, smoking pot with friends, and driving without a license the night of the crash. Nearly half of high school students 16 or older text or email while driving, according to a study published last month in Pediatrics. In Alaska, the Legislature explicitly outlawed texting by motorists in 2012. The February 6th accident killed Catherine Cope, as she headed home from Guido's pizza parlor, according to a bail memo filed by prosecutors. Catherine Cope was riding with her husband, Ryan Cope, who worked at the restaurant. Two of Ryan's co-workers were also in the car. A Chevrolet Tahoe driven by Gross "T-boned" the Jeep, "It's just sad," said Dale Cope, Ryan's mother. Dale said she is now helping to raise the couple's daughters, 5-year-old Mary Grace and McKenzie, who will turn 2 years old this month.
Young Happenings cont.
Cyber Bullying Mishap
Lori Drew says justice was finally served. This is all because of a MySpace hoax that ended in a girl’s suicide. A federal judge dismissed Drew’s conviction that could have resulted in up to three years in prison for her. "In my view, it was proper that this case was dismissed, primarily because I simply did not do what the U.S. attorney in Los Angeles accused me of doing," Drew, 49, said in a statement Friday. Last November Drew was convicted on three misdemeanor charges. Prosecutors had argued that Drew had created a fake account, and pretended to be a teenage boy named Josh. Her intentions were to flirt with 13-year-old Megan Meier, an emotionally troubled classmate of Drew's daughter, before turning on her. “The world would be a better place without you," the fake Josh wrote to Megan in October 2006. Meier responded, "You're the kind of boy a girl would kill herself over," then hanged herself in her bedroom. A Los Angeles jury agreed that Drew was guilty of unauthorized computer access – a violation of a federal law designed to combat computer crimes. But then on Thursday, Judge George H. Wu tentatively overturned those convictions and acquitted Drew. "If she is to be found guilty of illegally accessing computers, anyone who has ever violated the social networking site's terms of service would be guilty of a misdemeanor," Wu wrote – suggesting that even someone who lied about their age would be guilty of a crime. "That would be unconstitutional."
Close Call Drunk Driving
Duncan Smith was driving home after meeting up with a friend for some drinks when he decided to drive home. He only had two beers, but wasn't a particularly large man and hadn't eaten lately, and the effect was noticeable on him. On the way home, his cell phone slid out of his pocket and under the seat. He glanced down to see where it had fallen and by the time he looked up it was too late; his car jumped the curb and smashed into a fire hydrant. Duncan had been driving at a relatively low speed and he was able to walk away from the crash. As he got out of his car to survey the damage, a police officer showed up. Suspecting alcohol, the officer gave Duncan field sobriety tests. The officer shined a flashlight in Duncan's eyes, and noticed that his eyes were red and watery. Even though Duncan passed the sobriety tests, because he had hit a tree and his eyes were red and watery, the officer placed him under arrest and took him to the station to get a blood test. The test showed that Duncan's blood alcohol content was .09, just above the legal limit of .08. Duncan was a very lucky man that thats all the damage that was done.
Young Happenings Cont.
Young Happenings Cont.
Opinion Section: Madison Douglas on Same Sex Marriage
When asked about if same sex marriage should be legalized, Greenwood High School student Madison Douglas said, "We live in a society where everyone is considered equal. That should include even if you are homosexual." Douglas goes on to explain how she has family members of her own that are homosexual, and she wants to see them be able to marry to love of their lives. "I love my cousin, and would do anything to see her happy. Which means same sex marriage would have to be legalized," Douglas explains. She ends the interview by telling us about how personal this matter is, and how if America is not about discrimination then they will legalize same sex marriage. It isn’t fair to only a give the privilege of marriage to straight people.