A Look at Federal Role in Civil Rights Cases

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WASHINGTON – Almost as soon as George Zimmerman was pronounced “not guilty” in a Florida courtroom, the cry went up. The U.S. government must get “justice for Trayvon,” insisted protesters angry about the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin. The call will resound again later this month through events marking the 50th anniversary […]

Bill Gives Calif. Youthful Offenders Second Chance

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SACRAMENTO — Criminals serving long prison sentences for offenses they committed as teenagers would have an earlier chance for freedom under a bill working its way through the Legislature. The bill by Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, expands on legislation signed into law last year that gives a second chance to inmates who committed murder before […]

AG Holder To Push For Lighter Low-Level Drug Sentences

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WASHINGTON — With the US facing massive overcrowding in its prisons, Attorney General Eric Holder is calling for major changes to the nation’s criminal justice system that would scale back the use of harsh sentences for certain drug-related crimes. In remarks prepared for delivery to the American Bar Association in San Francisco, Holder also favors […]

Civil Rights Leaders Meet with President Obama on Voting Rights

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WASHINGTON – The Voting Rights Act is down, but not out and civil rights leaders joined President Obama and Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. at the White House Monday to discuss renewed efforts in the fight against voter discrimination. In a statement released after the meeting, Al Sharpton, civil rights activist and president of […]

Maryland Dig Seeks Proof of First Free Black Community

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EASTON – Archaeology students have been sifting through a little patch of ground on Maryland’s Eastern Shore this summer, seeking evidence that it was home to the nation’s first free African-American community. Historians say hundreds of free blacks once lived in the area, while plantations flourished with hundreds of black slaves not far away. The […]

Obama Asks for ‘Soul Searching’ After Zimmerman Verdict

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WASHINGTON — Grappling with the Trayvon Martin case in the most personal of terms, President Barack Obama said Friday it’s time for Americans to search their souls on race and look for ways to move forward after the shooting and trial in Florida. The nation’s first black president, who early on had said that if […]

House Passes Bill to Replace No Child Left Behind

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WASHINGTON — House Republicans on Friday passed legislation outlining their vision for national educational policy to replace the No Child Left Behind law. The measure would give state and local governments greater powers to determine how best to improve schools and would sharply reduce federal involvement in education matters. The Student Success Act reflects the […]

Zimmerman Cleared in Shooting of Trayvon Martin

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SANFORD – Neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman was cleared of all charges late Saturday night in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teenager whose killing unleashed furious debate across the U.S. over racial profiling, self-defense and equal justice. Zimmerman, 29, blinked and smiled slightly when the verdict was announced. He could have been […]

Carl Landry is Back With The Kings: Agrees to 4-year, $26 Million Deal

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SACRAMENTO – Carl Landry believes his second stint with the Sacramento Kings will be better and last longer than his first time around. With an aggressive new regime in place, Landry and the Kings agreed to a four-year deal worth at least $26 million on Saturday that will bring the power forward back to California’s […]

Pelicans, Blazers, Kings Make Deal; Evans Headed to New Orleans

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SACRAMENTO – New Orleans, Portland and Sacramento have agreed to a three-team trade sending guard Tyreke Evans to the Pelicans, center Robin Lopez to the Trail Blazers and guard Greivis Vasquez to the Kings, people familiar with the deal said. The people, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday because NBA […]