- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 3, 2001

Rapist of 'Girl X' gets 120 years
CHICAGO — A judge yesterday handed down the maximum sentence of 120 years for a man convicted of the brutal 1997 attack on a 9-year-old girl that left her blind and nearly paralyzed after he poured roach killer down her throat.
Unable to see or speak, the girl, now 14 and referred to as "Girl X," testified at the trial by nodding her head and lifting her eyebrows to answer questions.
Patrick Sykes, who lived in a downstairs apartment from the girl, was convicted of the attack.

Arraignment today for comic Poundstone
SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Standup comic Paula Poundstone's arraignment on lewd-conduct and child-endangerment charges is scheduled todayafter a judge agreed to move up her date, originally scheduled for July 27.
"By moving up her arraignment, we will finally be able to learn the basis of the charges brought by the district attorney and begin the process of clearing her name," said Steven M. Cron, attorney for Miss Poundstone, who is charged with three counts of committing a lewd act on a girl under the age of 14 and endangering four other children.

O'Connor questions death penalty
MINNEAPOLIS — Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor said yesterday there are "serious questions" about whether the death penalty is being fairly administered.
"If statistics are any indication, the system may well be allowing some innocent defendants to be executed," Justice O'Connor said in a speech to the Minnesota Women Lawyers group.
Justice O'Connor, who has been a swing vote on several death-penalty cases, said that six death-row inmates were exonerated and released last year, and that 90 inmates have been exonerated and set free since 1973.
She said the growing availability of DNA testing may alleviate some concerns but said most states with capital punishment have not passed laws addressing post-conviction testing.

Convicted Cuban spies put in isolation
MIAMI — Five Cuban agents convicted last month of spying on the United States have been moved to isolation cells without explanation to their attorneys.
"The Bureau of Prisons hasn't told us why, and there's no reason that we can see," defense attorney Phil Horowitz said yesterday.
The Federal Detention Center said the inmates were moved for "nonpunitive" reasons.

McVeigh friend attempts suicide
INDIANAPOLIS — A federal death row inmate who befriended Timothy McVeigh attempted suicide the night before the Oklahoma City bomber was executed.
David Hammer, who is diabetic, tried to kill himself by injecting insulin directly into one of his veins, his attorney said. Officials at the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Ind., where McVeigh was executed on June 11, would not confirm or deny the report.
INS extends permit deadline
Expiring work permits for Hondurans and Nicaraguans who are reapplying for temporary refuge in the United States will be good for five more months, the Immigration and Naturalization Service said yesterday. Work permits that were due to expire Thursday now will be valid until Dec. 5.
The INS in May extended temporary refuge for Nicaraguan and Honduran immigrants who initially gained protective status in 1998 after Hurricane Mitch.

Marine faces charges in wreck
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — A U.S. Marine has been charged in the deaths of three Dutch counterparts who were killed when a van he was driving ran off a road and into a ditch.
Authorities said Lance Cpl. Isreal Guerraro was going 80 mph in a 55-mph zone when he lost control late Friday.

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