New DNA collection links inmate to four rapes in Omaha in the early 2000s

OWH 6/13/17

Turns out, there’s a reason authorities want felons’ DNA.

A recent push by Douglas County prosecutors to have prison officials collect the DNA of refusing prisoners netted a huge result Monday:

Tests have connected a child rapist now in prison to the serial rapes of four young women in Omaha in the early 2000s, prosecutors say.

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Experts weigh in on police training, use of Tasers during encounters with the mentally ill

OWH 6/11/17

Slow down. Give the person space. Talk to him respectfully.

That’s how police are advised to respond to an uncooperative person — someone like Zachary Bearheels — who is mentally ill. The primary goal: De-escalate the situation.

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Corrections officials say they have reduced number of inmates who have refused to provide DNA samples to 13 from 78

OWH 06/09/17

Nebraska prison officials say the number of inmates refusing to provide DNA samples has dropped to just 13 — as the State Corrections Department works to remedy missteps 20 years in the making.

After a World-Herald investigation in April, department officials said 78 inmates had refused to comply with a 20-year-old state law requiring all convicted felons to submit their DNA into a database that can help clear unsolved crimes.

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Ideal Conceal: Gun that looks like smartphone to hit the market this summer

A pistol the size of your smartphone could be available to the public as soon as this summer. The concept is called “Ideal Conceal.”

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After initial stumbles, Trump orders overhaul of federal cybersecurity

Twenty-one days past its self-appointed deadline, the Trump administration Thursday ordered a cybersecurity overhaul that mandates broad reviews of the nation’s cyber vulnerabilities and gives the military greater responsibility for the safety of computer networks. President Donald Trump’s long-delayed executive order will force 190 federal agencies to ditch outdated computer systems and migrate toward one centralized network, with much data and processing in the “cloud,” or through shared digital access.

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Eyewitness Identification Update: What Prosecutors Need to Know Now

For more than a decade, prosecutors have been warned about the perils of eyewitness identification. The drumbeat grew steadily louder after the National Institute of Justice (“NIJ”) published Convicted by Juries, Exonerated by Science in 1996.

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National District Attorneys Association statement on charging and sentencing memo to federal prosecutors

National District Attorneys Association

On Friday, May 12, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo to federal prosecutors outlining updated charging and sentencing guidelines for the Department of Justice (DOJ). The National District Attorneys Association (NDAA), representing America’s 2500 elected and appointed state and local prosecutors, stands with its federal counterparts in doing all that we can to protect the communities we serve.

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Shakespeare and Sexting: Reconsidering Penalties for Teen Sexual Activity

The Pew Charitable Trusts

More than 20 years ago, when Russell Foster was 19 and his girlfriend Amber was 15,
Montana’s laws tore them apart, sending Russell to prison for four years for having sex with
a minor.
Their story mostly has a happy ending. They reunited when Russell got out of prison.
They’re married now, with four kids, and living in Glasgow, Montana.

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Police’s growing arsenal of technology watches criminals and citizens

Star Tribune

Law enforcement agents are deploying an onslaught of new technology to collect information on criminals and unsuspecting citizens alike. Body cameras. Cellphone hacking devices. License plate scanners. Software that can identify faces in surveillance video.

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‘Do better for the kids’: Marion County steps up child abuse response team

Statesman Journal

In the face of extremely complex and challenging child abuse cases, the Marion County District Attorney’s Office is launching a pilot program designed to increase coordination during high-risk child abuse investigations. Officials with the Marion County Child Abuse Response Team announced the pilot project Friday.

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