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Track Palin was formally accepted into a diversion court program Tuesday after assaulting his father, the former first gentleman of the state of Alaska, so severely it left him bleeding from the head.

Palin, the son of 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Todd Palin, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor criminal trespass after breaking into the family home north of Anchorage last December. The change of plea will allow him to take part in Alaska's Veterans Court, a therapeutic diversion program intended to rehabilitate veterans.

If he completes the program, he will serve 10 days in jail. But under the plea agreement, if he doesn't complete the Veterans Court program, he will serve a year in jail. Palin, a 29-year-old Army veteran who served one year in Iraq, was initially charged with felony burglary and misdemeanor counts of assault and criminal mischief.

Palin, who was dogged by television cameras at a Monday Veterans Court appearance, did not appear in the Anchorage courtroom for Tuesday's change of plea hearing, and instead was allowed to call in from Wasilla.

Palin had attempted to bar the media from covering proceedings in Veterans Court, but the move was challenged by The Associated Press and Anchorage television stations KTVA and KTUU. Judge David Wallace ruled the media and the public have a right to be in the courtroom, but didn't allow cameras in.

During Monday's informal Veterans Court session, Wallace asked Palin how things were going for him. "Doing good, sir," Palin responded, adding he was taking classes and learning patience.



A state appeals court has reinstated — at least for now — California's law allowing terminally ill people to end their lives.

The Fourth District Court of Appeals in Riverside issued an immediate stay Friday putting the End of Life Option back into effect. The court also gave opponents of its decision until July 2 to file objections.

The law allows adults to obtain a prescription for life-ending drugs if a doctor has determined that they have six months or less to live.

Riverside County Superior Court Judge Daniel Ottolia declared the law unconstitutional last month, stating that it had been adopted illegally because lawmakers passed it during a special Legislative session called to address other matters.

Ottolia didn't address the issue of whether it's proper for people to end their lives. Right-to-die advocates hailed Friday's action.

"This stay is a huge win for many terminally ill Californians with six months or less to live because it could take years for the courts to resolve this case," Kevin Díaz, national director of legal advocacy for Compassion & Choices, said in a statement.

"Thankfully, this ruling settles the issue for the time being, but we know we have a long fight ahead before we prevail."

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who had asked the appeals court to stay Ottolia's ruling, also praised the decision.

"This ruling provides some relief to California patients, their families, and doctors who have been living in uncertainty while facing difficult health decisions," Becerra said. "Today's court ruling is an important step to protect and defend the End of Life Option Act for our families across the state."



The Ohio Supreme Court plans to hear arguments in a dispute over promotions including bobbleheads and other items offered by the Cincinnati Reds to ticket buyers.

At issue is whether the Reds are exempt from paying tax on the purchase of the promotional items.

Attorneys for the Reds argue they don't have to pay tax because they resell the promotional items as part of the ticket package.

Ohio law exempts companies from paying tax on items they buy to resell.

The state tax commissioner says the promotional items should be taxed because the Reds bought the items as giveaways and they aren't selling them with the tickets.

The state Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments for Wednesday morning.


Attorneys for the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow are opposing the Ohio auditor's effort to formally get involved in court proceedings about the dismantling of the massive online charter school amid a dispute over its public funding.

Republican Auditor Dave Yost's office preserved computer data from ECOT but hasn't yet been a party to the Franklin County case about the closure.

In a recent court filing, ECOT's attorneys argue it is unnecessary for Yost to get involved and note that the interested parties already are working to agree on protocols for reviewing the preserved data.

ECOT closed in January after the state determined the school should repay nearly $80 million. ECOT challenged how student participation was tallied to calculate that, and it's awaiting an Ohio Supreme Court ruling in that matter.




A San Francisco woman looked composed and lucid as she made her first court appearance on Friday on a murder charge accusing her of killing and dismembering her roommate, whose body parts prosecutors say were discovered in plastic bags at their home.

Lisa Gonzales, 47, was in an orange jail suit with her hands cuffed behind her back during the brief appearance with her attorney. She answered a question from the judge, but she did not enter a plea. Her arraignment was continued until June 14.

Police arrested Gonzales on Saturday after her 61-year-old roommate was reported missing. Police discovered the victim's severed arms and legs in a maggot-filled storage container, according to prosecutors.

Gonzales told police that her roommate refused to move out, and the two of them argued on May 15, a San Francisco prosecutor said in a court filing. She told investigators she thinks she "flipped," but she didn't have a "real recollection" of what happened, Adam Maldonado said in the filing.

Outside court, Gonzales' public defender, Alex Lilien, said his client was a hardworking, single mother and had taken the victim, Maggie Mamer, in after Mamer said she had been evicted by unscrupulous landlords. He said he didn't have details about his client's mental health.

"She's charged with murder, and she's being portrayed as a monster in the media — and that's distressing," he said. "She's concerned about her family."

Mamer had lost her home and "fallen on hard times" when Gonzales in August 2017 offered her a room, Maldonado said in the court filing. They agreed on $400 a month as rent. But after items around the home began to get misplaced or broken, Gonzales told Mamer in April to move out in 30 days or face eviction, the prosecutor said.

Lilien said Friday that Gonzales did not know Mamer well when she let her move in, and that Mamer had a history of not paying rent.



Texas' highest criminal court narrowly ruled Wednesday that a death row inmate is mentally capable enough to execute, despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that his intellectual capacity had been improperly assessed and agreement by his lawyer and prosecutors that he shouldn't qualify for the death penalty.

In a 5-3 ruling with one judge not participating, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals said it reviewed the case of convicted killer Bobby James Moore under guidance from the Supreme Court's March 2017 decision and determined that Moore isn't intellectually disabled based on updated standards from the American Psychiatric Association.

"It remains true under our newly adopted framework that a vast array of evidence in this record is inconsistent with a finding of intellectual disability," the Texas court's majority wrote. "We conclude that he has failed to demonstrate adaptive deficits sufficient to support a diagnosis of intellectual disability."

The Supreme Court last year said the state court used outdated standards to reach its earlier decision on Moore. In a lengthy dissent joined by judges Bert Richardson and Scott Walker, Judge Elsa Alcala wrote that the majority got it wrong. "The majority opinion's assessment of the evidence in this record is wholly divorced from the diagnostic criteria that it claims to adhere to," she wrote.

The ruling came despite Harris County prosecutors telling the court they believed Moore is mentally disabled and shouldn't be found eligible for the death penalty. Cliff Sloan, who argued Moore's case before the Supreme Court, said Wednesday's ruling was "inconsistent" with the high court's decision.


The Supreme Court ruled Monday for a Colorado baker who wouldn’t make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple in a limited decision that leaves for another day the larger issue of whether a business can invoke religious objections to refuse service to gay and lesbian people.

The justices’ decision turned on what the court described as anti-religious bias on the Colorado Civil Rights Commission when it ruled against baker Jack Phillips. The justices voted 7-2 that the commission violated Phillips’ rights under the First Amendment.

The case had been eagerly anticipated as, variously, a potentially strong statement about the rights of LGBT people or the court’s first ruling carving out exceptions to an anti-discrimination law. In the end, the decision was modest enough to attract the votes of liberal and conservative justices on a subject that had the potential for sharp division.

Justice Anthony Kennedy said in his majority opinion that the larger issue “must await further elaboration” in the courts. Appeals in similar cases are pending, including one at the Supreme Court from a florist who didn’t want to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding.

The disputes, Kennedy wrote, “must be resolved with tolerance, without undue disrespect to sincere religious beliefs, and without subjecting gay persons to indignities when they seek goods and services in an open market.”


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