- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 14, 2002

Criminal cases fall in 2001
The number of new federal criminal prosecutions failed to rise last year for the first time in six years, the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts reported yesterday.
The number of criminal cases filed last year fell by a scant 37 cases, to 62,708, with 83,252 defendants. That reversed a trend that had pushed up the number of criminal cases by 25 percent since 1997. The number of drug and firearms cases continued to climb, but immigration charges were off 7 percent to 11,277 cases.

Dear Abby letter writer charged with child porn
MILWAUKEE A man who wrote to Dear Abby for advice on how to handle his fantasies about having sex with young girls was charged yesterday with possessing child pornography after the columnist turned him in, authorities said.
Paul Weiser, 28, was charged with three counts of possession of child pornography. He was ordered to be released on $10,000 bail on the condition he avoid computers and contact with anyone younger than 18.

Defendant clueless why her dog went bad
LOS ANGELES The owner of a dog that mauled a neighbor to death finished testifying at her trial yesterday by crying and shouting out that she still couldn't understand what turned her "loving, docile, friendly" pet into a vicious killer.
"I could never imagine this dog turning into what he turned into. It's still incomprehensible what he did in that hallway," Marjorie Knoller said, wrapping up three days of testimony at the murder trial.

Brain implant offers hope to disabled
A monkey with a fingernail-sized brain implant moved a cursor on a computer screen just by thinking the latest in a series of experiments that have raised hopes that paralyzed people one day might be able to control complex devices with their minds.
Three rhesus monkeys were given the implants, which were first used to record signals from their motor cortex an area of the brain that controls movement as they manipulated a joystick with their hands. Then those signals were used to develop a program that enabled one of the monkeys to continue moving the cursor with its brain.
The results are promising enough that the device one day could be used on humans, the researchers at Brown University reported in today's issue of the journal Nature. They would not speculate on how long that might take.

Judge grants halt to display
ELKHART, Ind. A federal judge ordered a temporary halt yesterday to plans to erect historical markers beside a Ten Commandments monument outside City Hall.
The city had proposed erecting markers containing the texts of the Bill of Rights, the preamble to the U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and the Magna Carta as a way to settle a dispute over the monument's constitutionality.
A week ago, U.S. District Court Judge Allen Sharp ruled the displays could proceed. But the Indiana Civil Liberties Union filed documents Friday asking Judge Sharp to reconsider, saying it had not consented to the plan.

Coroner says victim died within hours
FORT WORTH, Texas A homeless man who was struck by a car and lodged in the broken windshield likely lived for only a few hours afterward, the county medical examiner said.
Police had said Gregory Glenn Biggs, 37, probably died two or three days after his head was trapped in the windshield during the hit-and-run accident. But Tarrant County's coroner, Dr. Nizam Peerwani, said on Tuesday that Mr. Biggs likely would have died within hours, or perhaps a day, from blood loss after suffering a nearly amputated leg.
Chante J. Mallard, a 25-year-old nursing aide, is charged with murder and is being held on $250,000 bail.


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