In the murder trial of abortion clinic gunman John Salvi, the defense called its last witness Monday (3-11) and was expected to finish presenting evidence Tuesday. Before the case ends, prosecutors will likely call mental health experts to rebut the defense’s claim that Salvi was insane at the time of the killings. Dr. David Bear of U-Mass Medical School in Worcester was the last of 29 witnesses called by the defense. Bear testified that he believed Salvi to be a paranoid schizophrenic, but prosecutor Marianne Hinkle called his judgment informed speculation.” Norfolk County prosecutors are expected to call mental health experts to dismiss the claims of insanity and to place Salvi with criminal responsibility for his actions.
If convicted, Salvi would face life in prison. If acquitted by reason of insanity, the avowed murderer would be sent to a mental hospital but could be released if he was later declared sane.
Media Resources: The San Francisco Chronicle - March 11, 1996; The Washington Post - March 11, 1996
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .