National Roundup

New York

Thief gets jail instead of heart transplant

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) -- A New Yorker who lost her chance for a life-saving heart transplant by continuing to commit crimes has been sentenced to more than two years in jail.

A judge had freed Diane McCloud in January so she could try to get on the transplant waiting list. Long Island prosecutors say McCloud stole from three drugstores after that. She pleaded guilty to petty larceny charges last month.

On Wednesday, Nassau District Court Judge Francis Ricigliano (reh-sih-glee-AH'-noh) resentenced her to the 15 months he had forgiven her. He also added a year for the new charges.

McCloud's lawyer, Leonard Isaacs, tells Newsday that he had hoped for "a much better outcome."

Isaacs says McCloud's doctor told him the medicine that keeps her heart pumping will eventually stop working.


State court system faces $108M budget shortfall

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Florida's court system is again facing a huge budget shortfall.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Canady has written Gov. Rick Scott and top officials on the legislative budget commission alerting them to a projected $108 million budget shortfall for the current fiscal year.

Canady is asking for $45.6 million in funding to keep courts operating through March, and for the balance to be addressed by the Legislature once it reconvenes in January.

Officials blame the shortfall on a downturn in foreclosures, which carry higher fees than most court filings and account for a sizeable share of the courts' budget.

Scott hasn't yet responded to the justice's request.


Re-sentencing for Ohio dad who sh o ck-collared kids

XENIA, Ohio (AP) -- A state appeals court has ordered re-sentencing of a western Ohio man who faced 16 years in prison for disciplining his children with a dog shock collar.

The 2nd District Court of Appeals has ruled that the state improperly tried to influence the sentence of David Liskany of Jamestown. Authorities said he punished his three children by putting them in cold showers, holding them underwater, and using the shock collar.

The 42-year-old man pleaded guilty to charges of felonious assault and attempted felonious assault. The prosecutor had asked for a lighter sentence because of Liskany's plea.

The Dayton Daily News reports the court found that a letter to the sentencing judge from a sheriff's captain was improper. It reports the letter called Liskany a "dangerous serial child abuser."


Judge rules against copyright lawsuits

DENVER (AP) -- A federal judge has ruled against a company fighting copyright violations saying the company didn't own the rights to the printed materials.

The ruling by U.S. District Court Judge John Kane against Righthaven is expected to have a domino effect on the firm's other Colorado cases.

According to the Denver Post, the Las Vegas-based company has filed 57 cases in federal court in Colorado alleging copyright infringement.

Those cases are part of a national campaign by Righthaven involving about 200 lawsuits alleging copyright theft of newspaper content by websites and blogs.

Righthaven attorney Shawn Mangano says the company will challenge the ruling.


Auto parts firm to pay $200M fine for price-fixing

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A Tokyo-headquartered auto parts supplier has agreed to plead guilty and pay a $200 million fine in what the Justice Department said Thursday is an investigation of an international price-fixing and bid-rigging cartel .

As a result of the conspiracy involving Furukawa Electric Co. Ltd. and three of its executives, "automobile manufacturers paid noncompetitive and higher prices for parts in cars sold to U.S. consumers," said Sharis Pozen, the acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's antitrust division.

The three executives at Furukawa who have agreed to plead guilty will serve prison time in the U.S ranging from a year and a day to 18 months, the Justice Department announced.

Furukawa supplies automotive wire harnesses and other products.

According to court papers filed in federal court in Detroit, the company and the three executives -- Junichi Funo, Hirotsugu Nagata and Tetsuya Ukai -- conspired to fix prices of automotive wire harnesses and related products sold to customers in the U.S. and elsewhere. The harnesses are electrical distribution systems that control electronic components, wiring and circuit boards.

The case is the first resulting from what the Justice Department said is an ongoing criminal investigation.


Alternatives to jailing kids urged

COVINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- Nationally known juvenile justice advocate Judge Stephen Teske came to the Kentucky county that locks up the most children for misbehaving and urged alternatives to putting kids in jail.

Teske spoke Wednesday in Covington at a forum organized by the Children Law Center, saying only a small proportion of at-risk youth need to be incarcerated.

The Kentucky Enquirer reported records show Kenton County jailed 213 children last year for status offense. Those are acts that adults cannot be charged with, such as truancy and running away. Statistics also show Kentucky is among the top three states in the jailing of status offenders.

Kenton County has a "zero-tolerance" policy on truancy and county Family Court Judge Chris Mehling has said that is driving the local statistic.


Court upholds conviction in torture case

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A state appeals court says a woman accused of helping her gang of identity thieves kill a woman and torturing the woman's son was properly convicted.

Columbia County prosecutors accused Candice Clark of helping kill Tammie Garlin and torturing Garlin's young son nearly to death. Clark was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2008 after reaching a plea deal on multiple charges.

She argued on appeal the judge never told her she could have argued she was a bystander in Garlin's death, a detective threatened her during an interview and her sentence was too harsh.

The 4th District Court of Appeals ruled the judge didn't have to inform Clark about potential defenses, the detective didn't threaten her and the sentence was appropriate.

Clark's attorney didn't immediately return a message.

Published: Fri, Sep 30, 2011