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October 24th, 2017

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The Continuing Crisis | Update

News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

By News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

Published Sept. 10, 2015

The Continuing Crisis | Update

Texas' highest criminal appeals court agreed on July 17, hours before Clifton Williams was to be executed, to a postponement until they could consider the significance of perhaps-faulty higher math presented to his jury in 2006. Prosecutors had claimed at his trial that the likelihood of another black man having Williams' DNA profile was 1 in 43 sextillion (43 followed by 21 zeros, or 43 billion trillion). Texas officials have recently recalculated the FBI-developed database and concluded that it was somewhat more likely that a second black man had Williams' profile -- 1 in only 40 billion trillion. [Associated Press via WLS-TV (Chicago), 7-17-2015]

Earlier, even Norway's world's-friendliest prison system had refused to honor the educational rehabilitation demands of Anders Behring Breivik, the mass-murderer of 71 (mostly children) at a camp in 2011. Breivik had been sentenced to 21 years in prison -- the country's maximum, or less than four months per victim -- but he was subsequently turned down when he sought to register, behind bars, as a political science student at Oslo University. However, in July, prison officials relented and will allow the enrollment -- although he will still be subject to his prison restrictions against Internet and email use. [BBC News, 7-17-2015]

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