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States brief ~ WI Supreme Court rules juvenile interrogations must be recorded

[JURIST] Leading Thursday's states brief, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled [text] today that interrogations of juvenile prisoners must be electronically recorded. In reversing a 2003 Court of Appeals decision [PDF text] the court stated that recording the interrogations by videotape or audio record will prevent disputes about police misconduct and provide an accurate record of the interrogation. The court rejected the argument of the boy's attorneys that all confessions from children under the age of 16 should be thrown out if the child did not get a chance to speak with his parents. Alaska and Minnesota already mandate electronic recording. AP has more.

In other state legal news ...

  • The Florida Supreme Court has found that the Florida Public Service Commission [official website] acted properly and followed the state legislature's will to provide a means to open the local phone service market to competition when the Commission approved a 2003 plan allowing for the largest phone rate increase in state history. State Attorney General Charlie Crist [press release], the AARP, and the legislature's phone consumer advocate argued that the plan would not guarantee consumer benefits, which were also contemplated by the legislature. In its opinion [PDF text] the court disagreed writing, "The commission cites extensive evidence supporting its findings that beneficial competition will result from the commission's grant of the petitions." The rate increase has been on holding pending this decision. AP has more.

  • The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled [text] that under state law, sexually violent offenders who have been released from prison can be committed to mental hospitals even if their recent act was not a dangerous sexual offense. According to the opinion, instead of the state having to prove the offender committed a dangerous sexual offense for commitment to a mental hospital, mental health experts, juries and judges must weigh the offender's entire history to decide whether he is dangerous under state law. The state law [text] provides that offenders who are determined to be sexually violent can be committed to a mental hospital after their prison term ends. AP has more.

  • A lawsuit has been filed in a Sacramento Superior Court [official website] seeking an injunction against California's Mega Millions multi-state lottery game [gaming website]. The petition is challenging the unilateral actions of the California Lottery Commission in joining the multi-state lottery game without obtaining the legislative approval required under Proposition 37. Proposition 37 [Hasting's Law Library text] was passed by voters in 1984 and deals with the state's lottery. California's Mega Millions lottery game is two weeks old. The Sacramento Business Journal has local coverage.

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