Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wednesday Must Read: No Murder Charges in First Friday Killing; High Court Appears Ready to Uphold Pot Club Bans

By Robert Gammon
Wed, Feb 6, 2013 at 9:05 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Citing a lack of evidence gathered by the Oakland Police Department, the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office has decided to not file murder charges against the man held in connection with the fatal shooting at last week’s First Friday event, the Trib reports. Instead, prosecutors have charged Donald Everett Parks Jr., 19, with assault with a deadly weapon, saying there wasn’t enough evidence to convict him of murdering Kiante Tay Campbell, 18. Three other people were also injured in the gunfire.

2. The California Supreme Court appears poised to uphold bans on medical marijuana dispensaries imposed by about two hundred cities and counties in the state, the Merc and Chron report. Justices seemed unconvinced by arguments from a medical pot lawyer who contended that the state law effectively blocks cities and counties from banning dispensaries. If the court upholds the bans, then many other cities and counties are expected to enact them as well, making it increasingly difficult to obtain medical pot in the state.

3. The Richmond City Council voted to appoint Jael Myrick, an aide to Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, to fill a council vacancy, the CoCo Times reports. Myrick will take the spot that was supposed to go to candidate Gary Bell. Bell is gravely ill and is unable to serve on the council. Myrick was a compromise pick after progressive candidate Eduardo Martinez, who finished just behind Bell in the November election, failed to garner the necessary votes on the council.

4. California Attorney General Kamala Harris has sued the credit rating firm Standard & Poor’s for its role in overestimating the value of bad mortgages during the housing boom, the SacBee reports. Harris contends that S&P’s bogus ratings cost the state employee retirement funds about $1.36 billion. Several other states have sued S&P as well.

5. The US Postal Service plans to announce today that it will stop delivering mail on Saturdays in an effort to cut costs, the AP reports. The public agency will continue to deliver packages six days a week, however.

6. And the release of Obama Justice Department memos shows that the administration has been using a flimsy rationale for justifying the assassination of American citizens accused of being terrorists. The secret memos, obtained by NBC, are reminiscent of the ones created by the Bush administration to justify torture.

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