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Top 8 today

Top eight stories for today including a Texas death row inmate challenged his scheduled execution at the Supreme Court; Florida returned to giving public access to court complaints when they are electronically received; The man accused of attacking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband pleaded not guilty to a raft of federal charges, and more.

National

Spiritual touch on death row is still taboo despite high court’s OK

A Texas death row inmate is challenging his scheduled execution at the Supreme Court, claiming a corrections facility has failed to uphold his religious rights as required by recent precedent. 

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2008, file photo, the execution chamber at the Washington State Penitentiary is shown with the witness gallery behind glass at right, in Walla Walla, Wash. Washington state's Supreme Court has ruled that the death penalty violates its Constitution. The ruling Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018, makes Washington the latest state to do away with capital punishment. They ordered that people currently on death row have their sentences converted to life in prison. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

Paul Pelosi attack suspect pleads not guilty on federal assault and kidnapping charges

The man accused of attacking Paul Pelosi at the home he shares with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi home appeared in federal court for the first time Tuesday, pleading not guilty to a raft of federal charges.

David DePape is shown in Berkeley, Calif., on Dec. 13, 2013. DePape, who is already in custody in last month's attack on Paul Pelosi, husband of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, faces federal charges of assault and attempted kidnapping. (Michael Short/San Francisco Chronicle via AP, File)

Toss of Trump-era Clean Water Act rule roils Ninth Circuit panel

A Ninth Circuit panel on Tuesday heard arguments on whether federal judges can vacate a rule by the Trump-era U.S. Environmental Protection Agency without finding the rule unlawful.

Starting in coastal hills west of the town of Occidental, Salmon Creek empties into the Pacific Ocean at California’s Sonoma Coast State Park. A few dozen homes cozy up near the mouth of the waterway in a hamlet that shares its name. (Courthouse News photo / Chris Marshall)

Regional

Florida returns traditional public access to court documents ahead of schedule

Florida, with a population of 22 million, is now giving public access to court complaints when they are electronically received, reinstating a tradition that existed for centuries in the time of paper.

(Art by Carlos Ayala/Courthouse News)

Georgia judge strikes down six-week abortion ban

A state judge on Tuesday overturned Georgia's ban on abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy, ruling the law was unconstitutional and violated U.S. Supreme Court precedent at the time it was enacted.

Defense counsel for the state (left) and attorneys from the American Civil Liberties Union (middle) question Dr. Carrie Cwiak (right) on the medical impacts of Georgia's abortion ban before Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney on Oct. 24, 2022. (Megan Butler/Courthouse News)

Police misconduct in central Massachusetts draws federal crackdown

Just months after the Justice Department concluded a widespread investigation of police brutality in the Bay State’s third-largest city, Springfield, it opened a new one Tuesday in its second-largest city, Worcester.

Aerial view of Worcester, Massachusetts, and its surrounding area. (N. Wayne Hansen/Wikipedia via Courthouse News Service)

Missouri judge finds then-AG Hawley withheld records to protect Senate campaign

A state judge held Tuesday that U.S. Senator Josh Hawley, while acting as the Missouri attorney general, intentionally withheld government communications to avoid damage to his 2018 Senate campaign.

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., speaks during a confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett on Oct. 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool, File)

International

A long-awaited verdict for passenger plane atrocity blamed on Russia

Just 2.5 miles away from where a Malaysian Airlines flight took off on a fateful day in July 2014, a Dutch court will announce its verdict on Thursday about the guilt of four men charged with shooting down the passenger aircraft as it flew over eastern Ukraine. 

The reconstructed wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is seen at the Gilze-Rijen military airbase in the Netherlands in May 2021. (Molly Quell/Courthouse News Service)

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