Friday, June 12, 2009
CRIMINAL JUSTICESentence Reduced In Pentagon Case
A federal judge Thursday eliminated the prison sentence of a former Defense Department analyst convicted of passing government secrets to two employees of a pro-Israel lobbying group and to an Israeli government official.
Judge T.S. Ellis III in Alexandria had sentenced Lawrence A. Franklin to 151 months, or 12 1/2 years. At a hearing, Ellis reduced that sentence to probation, with 10 months of home confinement, said Franklin's attorney, Plato Cacheris. Franklin pleaded guilty in 2005 to giving the classified data to two former employees of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, one of Washington's most influential lobbying organizations.
The judge last month dismissed related charges against the former AIPAC lobbyists, Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman, after prosecutors and said recent court rulings made it unlikely they would win convictions. -- Jerry Markon
War-Funding Accord Reached: Congressional Democrats reached agreement on a stalled war-funding bill, as the Obama administration dropped its request for a provision that would bar the release of photos that show abuse of detainees in U.S. custody in Iraq and Afghanistan. The accord was reached after a letter from President Obama to a congressional panel saying his administration would appeal to the Supreme Court to keep the photos from becoming public, rather than try for a congressional ban as part of the bill. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals stayed an order that the photos be released immediately, giving the government time to appeal. -- Perry Bacon Jr.
Suspects Charged Over Crash: Police say the Philadelphia district attorney's office has approved charging robbery suspects Donta Cradock and Ivan Rodrigue with four counts of murder for a crash that killed a woman and three young children.
-- Associated Press
GOP Stages a Coup in N.Y. Senate: Pandemonium erupted on the floor, the lights went out and the television feed went black as Republicans seized control of the New York Senate this week in a takeover that played out like comic opera. Democrats locked the chamber's 15-foot brass gates and hid the keys, and the GOP rebels vowed to convene in a nearby park. With just a few weeks left in the legislative session, the rebellion could thwart the Democrats' attempts to legalize gay marriage.
-- Associated Press