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Lawyers are scheduled to make arguments Thursday before the Arizona Court of Appeals as Jodi Arias seeks to overturn her murder conviction in the 2008 death of her former boyfriend.

Arias argues a prosecutor's misconduct and a judge's failure to control news coverage during the case deprived her of the right to a fair trial.

A lawyer defending the conviction on behalf of the state said overwhelming evidence of Arias' guilt should outweigh mistakes that were made by the prosecutor who won the case.

Arias, who will not be in the courtroom during her appellate hearing, is serving a life sentence for her first-degree murder conviction in the death of Travis Alexander at his home in Mesa.

Prosecutors said Arias violently attacked Alexander in a jealous rage after he wanted to end their affair and planned a trip to Mexico with another woman. Arias has acknowledged killing Alexander but claimed it was self-defense after he attacked her.

The guilt phase of Arias' trial ended in 2013 with jurors convicting her but deadlocking on punishment. A second sentencing trial ended in early 2015 with another jury deadlock, leading a judge to sentence Arias to prison for life.

The case turned into a media circus as salacious and violent details about Arias and Alexander were broadcast live around the world.



A federal appeals court will reconsider a ruling from a three-judge panel that threw out a lawsuit accusing President Donald Trump of illegally profiting off the presidency through his luxury Washington hotel.

The Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to hold a hearing before the full court of 15 judges. Arguments are scheduled for Dec. 12.

In a 2017 lawsuit, the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia accused Trump of violating the emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution by accepting profits through foreign and domestic officials who stay at the Trump International Hotel.

A federal judge in Maryland ruled that the lawsuit could move forward.

But a three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit overturned that ruling in July, handing the president a significant legal victory. All three judges were nominated by Republican presidents.


Donaldo Morales caught a break when federal prosecutors declined to charge him after he was arrested for using a fake Social Security card so he could work at a Kansas restaurant. But the break was short-lived. Kansas authorities stepped in and obtained a state conviction that could lead to Morales’s deportation.

A state appellate court overturned the conviction, but Kansas appealed. On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments about whether states can prosecute immigrants like Morales who use other people’s Social Security numbers to get a job.

Morales, who plans to attend the arguments with his wife and a son, said he has been having nightmares about being deported. His greatest fear is leaving behind his wife and children if the Supreme Court reinstates his state convictions — felonies that could trigger deportation proceedings.

“What I did was to earn money honestly in a job to support my family,” the 51-year-old Guatemalan immigrant told The Associated Press in Spanish.

The case before the nation’s highest court arises from three prosecutions in Johnson County, a largely suburban area outside Kansas City, Missouri, where the district attorney has aggressively pursued immigrants under the Kansas identity theft and false-information statutes.


President Donald Trump’s lawyers are saying they’ll immediately go to the Supreme Court if an appeals court in New York says his tax returns can be released to state prosecutors.

The lawyers notified the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan Tuesday that they’ll need time to appeal if the 2nd Circuit rules against them.

The appeals court is hearing the challenge to a judge’s ruling tossing out Trump’s challenge to a subpoena of his tax returns since 2011. The records were sought from Trump’s accounting firm for a criminal probe by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr.

A three-judge panel of the 2nd Circuit is scheduled to hear oral arguments on Oct. 23. A ruling would be likely soon afterward. A spokesman for Vance declined comment.


National Coming Out Day festivities were tempered this year by anxiety that some LGBT folk may have to go back into the closet so they can make a living, depending on what the Supreme Court decides about workplace discrimination law.

But the mere fact that words like “transgender” are being uttered before the nation’s highest court gives some supporters of LGBT workplace rights hope that the pendulum will swing in their favor.

“I want all members of our community to feel supported by the government, and often for a lot of us and a lot of friends of mine, it’s the first time that they feel represented,” said Jessica Goldberg, a bisexual senior at the University of Colorado Denver.

Still, for many, the arguments showed the continuing relevance of National Coming Out Day, first observed in 1988 and marked every Oct. 11, though observances happen over several days. That includes Philadelphia’s annual OutFest, held Sunday this year and billed as the largest National Coming Out Day event.

Coming Out Day and, by extension, events like OutFest aim to show that coming out of the closet helps individuals and the larger community win visibility and acceptance.

As music echoed in the packed streets of Philadelphia’s Gayborhood and smoke from food carts hung overhead, Priscilla Gonzalez waited for friends on a stoop and pondered the timing of the Supreme Court arguments — and what she sees as a nefarious “military tactic” of dividing Republican Party opponents to weaken them.

“It’s true that we are focused on trying to protect our group,” said Gonzalez, a New York City resident attending her first OutFest. “Because we feel so threatened, we start to divide more, and I think that division brings disruptions.”

Emotionally, the victory for LGBT marriage equality was “huge,” said Susan Horowitz, publisher and editor of Between the Lines, an LGBT newspaper in Michigan. But the workplace discrimination case, with its legal ramifications, is bigger, she said.


An Arkansas judge says his court will decide individual outcomes in 19 adoption cases involving an Arizona official accused of human smuggling.

Paul Petersen, a Republican assessor of an Arizona county, was arrested Tuesday and charged with human smuggling, sale of a child, fraud, forgery and conspiracy to commit money laundering in Utah, Arizona and Arkansas.

Prosecutors say 44-year-old Petersen paid thousands of dollars to pregnant women from the Marshall Islands to travel to the U.S. and give birth for adoption.

The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that Washington County Circuit Court Judge Doug Martin ordered Friday that statewide adoption cases against Petersen will be decided in his court. Petersen's attorney said Tuesday that his client's actions are "proper business practices."


Among cases on the U.S. Supreme Court docket for the term that began this month, two Louisiana cases stand out — one because of its implications for criminal justice in the state, the other because of what it portends for abortion rights and access nationwide.

And, both, in part, because they deal with matters that, on the surface, might appear to have been settled.

Yes, voters approved a constitutional amendment requiring unanimous jury verdicts in felony cases — following Pulitzer Prize winning reporting by The Advocate on the racial impacts of allowing 10-2 verdicts. But sometimes lost amid celebrations of the measure’s passage is its effective date: it applies to crimes that happened on or after Jan. 1 of this year.

No help to people like Evangelisto Ramos, who was convicted on a 10-2 jury vote in 2016 of second-degree murder in the killing of a woman in New Orleans. Ramos is serving a life sentence with no chance of parole.

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