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Two Des Moines men who were sentenced to life in prison without parole for murders committed when they were teenagers must stay behind bars, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled on Friday.

James Dorsey and Fernando Sandoval have been trying for decades to have their convictions and sentences overturned. This time lawyers argued that their clients should not have been tried as adults because the crimes were committed when they were 18 and 19 years old.

In Dorsey’s case, he was only five days past his 18th birthday when he killed Juanita Weaver during a home invasion in 1984. He argued that modern medical and social science shows the brain does not fully mature until age 25, the Des Moines Register reported.

State law states that youth who commit crimes before they turn 18 cannot be sentenced to life in prison without parole. But once someone turns 18, they face the full penalties prescribed by law.

Justice Christopher McDonald, who wrote both majority opinions, acknowledges that the 18th birthday might be an arbitrary place to draw a line, but said a line must be drawn somewhere. He cited many areas outside criminal law where turning 18 triggers new rights and responsibilities.

Sandoval was 19 in 2004 when he shot and killed two men during a fight outside a Des Moines bar. McDonald held that Sandoval has passed the statute of limitations to challenge his conviction.


A North Carolina man has admitted stealing mail from residential mailboxes and using stolen information to commit wire fraud, a federal prosecutor said.

Soheil Akhavan Rezaie, 37, entered his guilty plea Tuesday before a U.S. magistrate judge in Charlotte, U.S. Attorney Dena King said.

Statements and plea documents showed that, beginning last year and through March, Rezaie and others targeted Charlotte neighborhoods and surrounding areas and stole large quantities of mail, including credit cards, tax forms and personal and business bank checks, a news release said.

Rezaie admitted in court that he altered the amounts of the stolen checks or changed the names of the payees to his own and then deposited them into bank accounts he controlled. He then withdrew the funds before the victims and banks could find out the checks were stolen, prosecutors said.

Rezaie pleaded guilty to wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years and a $250,000 fine. No sentencing date has been set.

Prosecutors said when Rezaie engaged in the fraud, he was on supervised release for a 2017 mail theft conviction. A second revocation of Rezaie’s supervised release is pending for violating the terms of his supervised release for the 2017 conviction.


A man carrying a gun, a knife and zip ties was arrested Wednesday near Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s house in Maryland after threatening to kill the justice.

Nicholas John Roske, 26, of Simi Valley, California, was charged with the attempted murder of a Supreme Court justice. During a court hearing, he consented to remain in federal custody for now.

Roske was dressed in black when he arrived by taxi just after 1 a.m. outside Kavanaugh’s home in a Washington suburb. He had a Glock 17 pistol, ammunition, a knife, zip ties, pepper spray, duct tape and other items that he told police he would use to break into Kavanaugh’s house and kill him, according to a criminal complaint and an affidavit filed in federal court in Maryland. Roske said he purchased the gun to kill Kavanaugh and that he also would kill himself, the affidavit said.

Roske told police he was upset by a leaked draft opinion suggesting the Supreme Court is about to overrule Roe v. Wade, the landmark abortion case. He also said he was upset over the school massacre in Uvalde, Texas, and believed Kavanaugh would vote to loosen gun control laws, the affidavit said.

The court currently is weighing a challenge to New York’s requirements for getting a permit to carry a gun in public, a case that could make it easier to be armed on the streets of New York and other large cities.


An Arizona man convicted of murder in the 1984 killing of an 8-year-old girl was put to death Wednesday in the state’s second execution since officials resumed carrying out the death penalty in May following a nearly eight-year hiatus.

Frank Atwood, 66, died by lethal injection at the state prison in Florence for his murder conviction in the killing of Vicki Lynne Hoskinson, whose body was found in the desert, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said in a statement.

Vicki Lynne went missing months earlier after leaving her home in Tucson to drop a birthday card in a nearby mailbox.

The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for Atwood’s execution Wednesday morning after rejecting a final appeal by his lawyers. He died at 10:16 a.m., Brnovich said, and witnesses reported that the execution went smoothly.

Atwood was the second Arizona prisoner to be put to death in less than a month. The execution of Clarence Dixon in May ended Arizona’s halt to executions that was blamed on the difficulty of obtaining lethal injection drugs and criticism that a 2014 execution in the state was botched.

Death penalty opponents now worry that Arizona will now start executing a steady stream of prisoners who have languished on death row, but state officials didn’t provide details when asked about the state’s future execution plans.


Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers on Wednesday called a special session for the Republican-controlled Legislature to repeal the state’s dormant 173-year-old law banning abortion, a move that’s more likely to win him political points with his Democratic base in a reelection year than it is to result in a repeal.

Republicans legislators support banning abortion and are not obligated to take any action during the special session. They ignored other special session that Evers called asking them to take action on issues such as gun control, increasing school funding and sending rebate checks to taxpayers.

“This isn’t about politics — it’s about empathy, compassion, and doing the right thing,” Evers said in a statement. “It’s about making sure the people we care about get the healthcare they need when they need it.”

All of the Republicans running in the Aug. 9 primary to challenge Evers support a total ban on abortion, with no exceptions for circumstances such as rape or incest. Republicans are expected to retain their strong legislative majority following the November election.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Republican Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu did not immediately reply to messages seeking their reaction to Evers’ special session call. Vos told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in May that he would like to see exceptions for rape and incest if Wisconsin’s ban on abortion takes effect, signaling future political fights over the scope of the ban should the U.S. Supreme Court overturn its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.

Evers called on the Legislature to meet on June 22 to repeal the dormant 1849 law that makes abortion a criminal offense except to save the recipient’s life. If the Supreme Court repeals repeals Roe, as was detailed in a leaked draft opinion, the state law would go back into effect.


A divided Wisconsin Supreme Court on Tuesday said the state health department can release data on coronavirus outbreak cases, information sought two years ago near the beginning of the pandemic.

The court ruled 4-3 against Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, the state’s largest business lobbying group, which had wanted to block release of the records requested in June 2020 by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and other news outlets.

The state health department in the early months of the pandemic in 2020 had planned to release the names of more than 1,000 businesses with more than 25 employees where at least two workers have tested positive for COVID-19.

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, along with the Muskego Area Chamber of Commerce and the New Berlin Chamber of Commerce, sued to block the release of the records, saying it would “irreparably harm” the reputations of their members. It argued that the information being sought is derived from diagnostic test results and the records of contact tracers, and that such information constitutes private medical records that can’t be released without the consent of each individual.

Attorneys for the state argued that the information contained aggregate numbers only, not personal information, and could be released. A Waukesha County circuit judge sided with the business group and blocked release of the records. A state appeals court in 2021 reversed the lower court’s ruling and ordered the case dismissed, saying WMC failed to show a justifiable reason for concealing the records.


The Indiana Supreme Court on Friday threw out a law that gave state legislators increased power to intervene during public health emergencies, agreeing with arguments from Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb that the move violated the state constitution.

The court’s unanimous decision settles a legal fight that began more than a year ago when Holcomb sued over a law that was a response to his efforts to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new law gave legislative leaders authority to call the General Assembly into an “emergency session” if the governor declares a statewide emergency. The GOP-dominated Legislature approved it over Holcomb’s veto.

Holcomb’s lawyers contended that the state constitution allows only the governor to call the Legislature into meetings for consideration of new laws outside of its annual sessions that begin in early January and adjourn by the end of April.

Chief Justice Loretta Rush agreed, writing for the five-justice court that Holcomb’s attorneys had “satisfied the high burden required to establish that the law is unconstitutional.”

“Under our Constitution, the General Assembly simply cannot do what the challenged law permits absent a constitutional amendment,” Rush added.

Holcomb said in a statement that the battle over the law had raised “important procedural, statutory and Constitutional questions that only the courts could answer.”

“Today, the Indiana Supreme Court has provided clarity and finality on these important issues,” he said.

The high court’s ruling came after a Marion County judge sided with the Legislature in October.

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