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News

Tuesday, April 30, 2013 houstonianonline.com/news

Local

Boston bomber may have limited appeal to court before a judge rather than being held indefinitely. Domino also said the act might apply in the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the lone surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15. “The Supreme Court ruled that there can be limits on the number of habeas writs filed,” Domino said. “If the Boston bomber is not labeled an enemy combatant and is tried in the civil courts he will be limited in his ability to file appeals.” A writ of habeas is a form of appeal that allows the accused to petition the state to be released because the accused feels he or she is being wrongfully held. Tsarnaev also was not immediately read his Miranda Rights, which has stirred controversy in legal and political circles. According to the FBI, the reading of Miranda Rights can be postponed if officers’ preliminary questions are geared toward the concern of public safety, such as Tsarnaev being questioned about additional attack plans or immediate threats to Watertown, Mass., the town in which he was captured. “The Court has recognized a public safety exception to Miranda, so I don’t see a problem,” Domino said. “The lingering

JAY R JORDAN Senior Reporter

The 1995 bombing in Oklahoma City, Okla., devastated the city and killed nearly 170 people in the process, a terrorist attack so deadly that it’s rivaled only by the 9/11 attacks. The federal law limiting the number of appeals in these kinds of cases created in the wake of the bombing could affect the outcome of the surviving suspect of the Boston Marathon Bombing’s case. Timothy McVeigh used a homemade fertilizer bomb that he made with his accomplice Terry Nichols. He placed them in such a way inside the rental truck that it would cause maximum destruction to the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building and have little effect on nearby civilian locations, according to court documents. The attack prompted U.S. lawmakers to pass the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. The act changed some of the rules of habeas corpus by limiting the number of appeals for terrorism crimes, according to SHSU political science professor John Domino. Habeas corpus is a legal action that brings a person under arrest

AP Photo | Bob Leonard

SUSPECTS. Bombing suspects Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, center right in black hat, and his brother, Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, center left in white hat, about 10-20 minutes before the blasts near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

problem is the distinction between terrorism and regular violent crime. The more crimes that are classified as terrorism, the more the government can suspend rights in the name of public safety.”

Local

Domino said every time the government limits due process when terrorist attacks occur, the terrorists win. “He changes our society and the amount of freedom that law-

abiding people have,” Domino said. “But this may be too subtle a point when we are angry. That is why we must stay committed to due process even in the face of monstrous crimes.”

State

LSCS wants to increase security FASFA to be modernized measures with bond referendum STEPHEN GREEN Editor-in-Chief

MOLLY WADDELL News Editor Security could be increased within the Lone Star College System, along with other upgrades, if the more than $497.7 million bond referendum gets passed. The bond referendum will be put up for vote on May 11 elections. The security measures that will be changed will include: • More video surveillance capabilities installed inside campus buildings and exterior locations. • Enhance lighting, emergency call boxes and sirens. • Enhance public address systems. • Automate door locking systems with implementation of new electronic badge access. • Expand alert system to fully integrate automated, simultaneous deployment of emergency announcements and personal messaging. Richard Carpenter, Ph.D., LSCS chancellor, told the Cypress Creek Mirror that these safety measures are not related to the recent attacks at Lone Star-CyFair. “The safety of our students,

AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Johnny Hanson

CRITICAL. Life Flight personnel rush a victim wounded in a stabbing attack on the Lone Star community college system’s Cypress, Texas campus into Memorial Hermann Hospital Tuesday, April 9, 2013, in Houston.

faculty and staff has always been a top priority and these proposed projects are not new they were outlined well in advance of the recent incident at LSC-CyFair,” Carpenter said. “Attention to the details is at an all-time high, the bond referendum underscores the multitude of needs associated with our unprecedented student enrollment growth.” Fourteen people were injured at Lone Star-Cy Fair when a student started stabbing other students on campus on April 9. Three people were injured when a gun fight broke out at the Lone Star- North

Harris campus earlier in the year. Carpenter said the security systems that LSCS has in place work “as intended” but with the large growth of students, improvements need to be made. Members of the LSCS board of trustees voted unanimously to put the bond referendum in front of Harris County, Montgomery County and San Jacinto County voters. According to a LSCS press release, the 2013 bond referendum “expands capacity to meet unprecedented student population growth.”

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Students could soon see changes to the federal financial aid application that would help accurately determine student need, according to the U.S. Department of Education. The changes that are being discussed for the 2014-2015 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) would add new options for students to select regarding their parents’ marital status. The first change would add an “unmarried and both parents living together” option for students to select. Currently, the only options on the application are “married” or “divorced or “separated.” The form would also change gender-specific terms like mother or father to terms like “Parent 1 (father/mother/stepparent)” where appropriate. Lisa Tatom, director of financial aid for Sam Houston State University, said the old system is antiquated. “Currently the FAFSA allows two choices: parents are ‘married’ or ‘divorced or separated,’” Tatom said. “That’s very old-fashioned and not a true representation of today’s society.” Tatom said household size, income and number of dependents in college are major factors in determining financial need. In the new system, some students would have to include the income of parents they didn’t have to include

before. The change could reduce the likelihood of receiving financial aid for certain students. “If you have a household where two parents (are unmarried and living together) make $40,000 each, including that other person makes it more fair and an accurate representation of financial need,” Tatom said. On the other-side of the coin, Tatom said, the new options could increase their need because it would increase the household size without increasing income. “There are a lot of people out there who have one member of the family who is disabled or retired, or who can’t or don’t work,” Tatom said. “To exclude that person because they aren’t married isn’t fair either.” Although the university doesn’t keep statistics of students from parents who are unmarried and living together, Tatom said most students won’t be affected. “It ensures those who are entitled to it receive financial assistance,” Tatom said. “If you have a family made up of same-sex parents in Texas where they can’t get married, it accurately reflects the family income because you can’t include both parents.” Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education, said the aim is to make sure taxpayer dollars are being used where they are needed. “All students should be able to apply for federal student aid within a system that incorporates their unique family dynamics,” Duncan said.

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April 30, 2013  

The April 30 issue of the Houstonian.

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