Originally published on Mon October 31, 2011 6:05 pm
The U.S. Supreme Court has once again rebuked the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, based in California. This time, the court, by a 6-to-3 vote, reinstated the conviction of a California grandmother for shaking her baby grandson to death. The court's unsigned opinion, provoked a strong dissent from three of the justices, who accused the court majority of using a "tragic case" to "teach the Ninth Circut a lesson."
The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Monday in two cases testing whether a lawyer's mishandling of a plea bargain offer should be sufficient reason for a defendant to get a second chance to accept the offer.
Both cases involve defendants who got prison terms much longer than they would have under plea bargains offered by the prosecutor. In one case, the defendant's lawyer never told his client about the offer. In the other, the defense lawyer advised against taking the offer based on a clearly erroneous understanding of state law.
Originally published on Wed November 2, 2011 7:40 am
The United States Supreme Court has let stand a lower court ruling that ordered the removal of 12-foot high crosses placed along highways in Utah to commemorate state troopers killed in the line of duty.
The court acted without comment, but Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a 19-page dissent.
President Obama signed an executive order Monday directing the Food and Drug Administration to take steps to reduce drug shortages. The order is one of several similar actions the president has taken in recent weeks.
Originally published on Mon October 31, 2011 7:30 pm
President Obama, faced with what he described as an "increasingly dysfunctional" Congress, has turned repeatedly in recent weeks to the time-honored, but often controversial executive order to unilaterally make policy.
On Monday, Obama signed an executive order designed to require drug companies to report anticipated manufacturing shortages in advance. Last week, he said he would issue an executive order designed to help ease home-refinancing rules. And earlier in the same week, the president issued a directive to cap student loan payments.
Originally published on Tue November 1, 2011 2:00 pm
From 2008 to 2010, children's and teens' exposure to television ads for soda doubled, according to a new report from the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale University. And beverage companies targeted black and Hispanic kids more than others in recent ads, the report found.
Commercials for Coke and Dr. Pepper products led the increase. Pepsi actually showed young audiences 22 percent fewer commercials for its products in that same time period.
Credit Cpl. David R. Hernandez / U.S. Marine Corps
U.S. Marines with 3rd Battalion, 5th Regiment and the Afghan National Army provide cover as they move out of a dangerous area after taking enemy sniper fire during a security patrol in Sangin, Afghanistan, in November 2010. During its seven-month deployment, the 3/5 sustained the highest casualty rate of any Marine unit during the Afghan war, losing 25 men.
Credit Staff Sgt. Ryan Smith / marines.mil
Lt. Col. Jason Morris (right), the commanding officer for 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, discusses the Marines' progress during Operation Golden Shillelagh in Malmand, Afghanistan, on March 12, with 1st Lt. Charles Broun.
Credit Courtesy of Ashley Tawney
Ashley and Sgt. Ian Tawney (seen here on their wedding day) had known each other since they were children. Ian Tawney was killed Oct. 16, 2010, by an improvised explosive device while on a foot patrol in Sangin. Ashley says she doesn't know how she made it to the door the day Marine officers came to her house to tell her that her husband was dead.
Credit Scott Olson / Getty Images
Cpl. Marcus Chischilly patrols near Forward Operating Base Zeebrugge in October 2010, near Kajaki, Afghanistan. This photo was taken a day before he stepped on an IED, losing his left leg and suffering other shrapnel damage.
Credit Cpl. Ned Johnson / U.S. Marines
Marines with 3rd Battalion, 5th Regiment salute during the playing of taps at a memorial ceremony on April 29 at Camp Pendleton, Calif. Moments before, the Marines fired a 21-gun salute in honor of the 25 fallen warriors of the battalion.
A year ago, nearly 1,000 U.S. Marine officers and enlisted men of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Regiment deployed to restive Helmand province in southern Afghanistan. By the time their tour ended in April 2011, the Marines of the 3/5 — known as "Darkhorse" — suffered the highest casualty rate of any Marine unit during the past 10 years of war. This week, NPR tells the story of this unit's seven long months at war — both in Afghanistan and back home.