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San Francisco Chief Greg Suhr's Salary Nation's Highest, $321,577

San Francisco isn't the nation's biggest city, and it's not the most crime ridden,  but that doesn't mean it can't have the country's highest-paid cop, says the San Francisco Chronicle. With a total pay of $321,577, San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr won top honors last year among the nation's police bosses. He also happened to be the highest-paid department head in San Francisco city government. (The Chronicle cited no source.)

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck, whose city has a population roughly 10 times San Francisco's, makes $307,291. New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly brings home $205,180. Suhr is not surprised he's at the top of the pay heap, given that San Francisco has "one of the best-compensated police departments in the country, in one of the most expensive cities in the country."


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6th Circuit Ruling Raises Questions About Police Use of Cellphone GPS

The rapid spread of cellphones with GPS technology has prompted questions about its use in criminal investigations, says the Washington Post. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit stirred the debate last week when it supported police use of a drug runner's cellphone signals to locate him — and more than 1,000 pounds of marijuana — at a Texas rest stop. The court decided that the suspect “did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy” over location data from his cellphone and that police were free to collect it over several days, even without a search warrant.

The decision riled civil libertarians, who warned that it opened the door to an extensive new form of government surveillance destined to be abused as sophisticated tracking technology becomes more widely available. On Monday, the U.S. attorney in Arizona cited the ruling in defending the use of cellphone data to help arrest a suspect accused of tax fraud. Many legal experts expect the issue eventually to find its way to the Supreme Court. About 100 million Americans carry smartphones capable of emitting location data almost continuously.

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With Its 'Tortured History,' Rape Is Being Redefined by FBI, States

The New York Times examines "the rapidly shifting definition of rape," a term with a tortured history. The FBI just this year changed its definition of the crime after eight decades, and a number of states have purged their criminal codes of it entirely, referring instead to levels of sexual assault. Many experts now believe that rape is best understood as an act of unwanted bodily invasion that need not involve force.

Aware that federal rape data are flawed, the Justice Department is studying how to better collect information, including interviewing victims out of the presence of family members to increase their comfort levels. According to the FBI, in 2010 there were some 85,000 “forcible rapes” -- a term that the agency will stop using next year. But that number included only assaults reported to law enforcement authorities that involved vaginal penetration of a woman by a man through use of force. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that based on interviews with women, the number of men-on-women rapes in 2010 was 1.3 million. States have been adjusting their definitions of rape for the past 30 years, many moving away from the insistence on evidence of force because most rapes do not result in harm to the woman separate from the act itself.

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CO Prosecutor Links Aurora Shooting to Holmes' Academic Collapse

Prosecutors indicated on Thursday that James Holmes' violent rampage at a Colorado movie theater on July 20 was linked to his wash-out from a neuroscience doctoral program. He bought an assault rifle on the same day in June that he failed the crucial oral examination for his neuroscience program at the University of Colorado Denver, reports the Denver Post. He began stockpiling explosives that same month, as professors told Holmes that perhaps he wasn't cut out for a career in neuroscience. Holmes also made threats in June that prompted CU officials to contact police.

The events were laid out Thursday in court during a hearing about access to Holmes' education records. It was most extensive explanation authorities have offered as to the motive behind the shooting, in which 12 were killed and 58 injured. In a previous hearing, Holmes' attorney Daniel King has suggested that his client is mentally ill. But prosecutor Karen Pearson portrayed Holmes as isolated and dejected after the collapse of his goal to become a neuroscientist.

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NY Home of Remington Is Nervous Over Talk of New Gun Laws

Political talk in New York about new gun laws has riled some people in Ilion, N.Y., home for nearly 200 years of Remington Arms, reports the New York Times. The recent mass shootings in Colorado and Wisconsin have galvanized advocates of tougher gun laws in Albany, and Remington has made it clear that such laws could prompt it to leave New York for a more sympathetic state. Legislators are proposing to limit firearm sales to one per person per month; to require background checks for anyone purchasing ammunition, and to require microstamping, a form of ballistics identification, for all semiautomatic pistols sold in New York State. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said legislation on gun violence would be a priority.

Remington, which has its headquarters in North Carolina, employs more than a thousand people at its Ilion plant. The city of 8,000 developed around the plant, and the Remington name is ubiquitous there, including at Remington Elementary School. The company is a rare economic bright spot upstate. The area has lost over 11,000 of its manufacturing jobs since 1990, or more than half. But Remington has added positions in recent years as its parent company consolidated production of other gun brands, like Bushmaster and Marlin, in Ilion.

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Fired Worker Kills Boss in Wild Shootout at Empire State Building

A fired worker wearing a full suit stalked his boss down a Midtown Manhattan street and shot him dead outside the Empire State Building. He then engaged in a shootout with police officers, who unleashed a fusillade. Nine bystanders were wounded, some apparently by police gunshots, reports the New York Post. The 9 a.m. mayhem sent commuters and tourists in a panicked scramble from the jam-packed intersection of 34th Street and Fifth Avenue.

The carnage started when the gunman followed his boss, who had fired him a year ago, down 33rd Street before opening fire outside a bar. Construction workers alerted police officers, and the shootout ensued.

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Summer Is Free Time for Supreme Court Justices and Schoolkids

Why does the United States Supreme Court get three months off each year? Slate's Amanda Frost writes, "Should the leaders of the judicial branch be in a position to use 'summer' as a verb, particularly when they take advantage of the time off to moonlight as law professors? Or is the summer break a harmless perk?" She says the summer recess comes with some significant costs, including the piling up of thousands of legal petitions that must await the justices' return.

Long before he was on the court, Chief Justice John Roberts quipped, “Only Supreme Court justices and schoolchildren are expected to and do take the entire summer off.” Frost writes, "The justices are free to leave town as soon as they issue their last decision of the term in late June, and they are usually not to be found back in the nation’s capital until the first Monday in October—the official start of the new Supreme Court term. Many of the justices use this chunk of free time to travel, lecture, write books, and teach, among other activities." This summer, Antonin Scalia spent most of the summer teaching in Austria, Roberts taught in Malta, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Samuel Alito in Italy.

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For Evil-Twin Crime Cases, DNA Epigenetics May Offer Proof

Slate's Brian Palmer, writing in "The Explainer" column, looks into the question of whether identical twins can fool criminal investigators. He writes, "Absolutely. Newspapers are littered with stories of twins who confused police and prosecutors, either intentionally or unintentionally."Identical twins have distinct fingerprints, because both genetic and environmental factors contribute to fingerprint formation. There are countless situations in which prints have helped police figure out they have the wrong twin.

A new kind of genetic evidence may come to play a role in these cases. Epigenetics refers to chemical modifications to DNA that may change how genes are expressed. A study released earlier this year showed that the epigenetic profiles of identical twins differ at birth, presumably because of small differences in the twins’ uterine environments. While no prosecutor has yet used epigenetic evidence to distinguish a guilty twin from his innocent sibling, the findings should put would-be criminal twins on notice.

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TCR at a Glance

The New Politics of the Drug War

special report May 26, 2016

As presidential candidates focus on the opioid epidemic, grassroots initiatives are transforming the national debate about drugs.

Life After Prison: Opting In or Opting Out

special report May 23, 2016

In Part 4 of our podcast series, Lorenzo Brooks faces the challenges of navigating a now-unfamiliar world he left behind when he went to ...