Two brutal police family violence cases, one in Ohio and another in Pennsylvania, have been making headlines this month. Luther McCormick, a former Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper, was sentenced earlier this week to 10 years in prison for shooting his wife in the face and critically wounding her. The case has drawn much controversy because McCormick’s wife, Tara, testified on her husband’s behalf, indicating that she believed that there was no way her husband would have intended to harm her. McCormick alleged that his gun accidentally discharged while he was unloading it. The jury, however, ruled that McCormick intended to harm his wife, evidenced by his unusual behavior after the incident – he left his home, while his bloodied wife made her way to a neighbor’s home to ask for help, and was found 20 miles away at a patrol post, casually chatting with police colleagues.
In a Pennsylvania police family homicide case, prosecutors have said that they will not seek the death penalty for Craig Knepper, a 12-year veteran of the Johnstown, Pennsylvania Police Department, who was charged in June with murdering his girlfriend, while the victim’s 4-year-old son watched. Knepper is currently being held without bail, and, if convicted of first-degree murder, will face life in prison without the possibility of parole.
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. . . .