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Afternoon Briefs: Golden State Killer gets life without parole; DOJ asks SCOTUS to let Trump block Twitter critics

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Joseph James DeAngelo

Joseph James DeAngelo appears in court in the “Golden State Killer” case. Photo by José Luis Villegas/The Sacramento Bee via AP, Pool

Golden State Killer sentenced to life in prison

The Golden State Killer, Joseph James DeAngelo, was sentenced Friday to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The 74-year-old former police officer was responsible for a spate of murders and rapes that began in the 1970s, terrorizing women and girls in Sacramento and Southern California. DeAngelo, arrested in 2018 after investigators traced his DNA through a public genealogy website, avoided the death penalty after confessing to 13 murders and 13 related rapes. (The Guardian, BBC News, Washington Post)

Trump urges Supreme Court to help him block Twitter critics

President Donald Trump wants the Supreme Court to reverse a federal appeals court that ruled that he had violated the First Amendment by blocking people who replied critically to his tweets. The Justice Department argued in a petition filed Thursday that he was not yet president when he joined the social media platform in March 2009 and should be granted the right to block people from posting replies. (Wall Street Journal, Courthouse News)

Attorney lays out defense strategy in George Floyd case

Earl Gray is the defense attorney representing former Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane in the criminal case filed after the killing of George Floyd. Gray told the Los Angeles Times this week that he plans to argue Floyd “killed himself” by overdosing on fentanyl and had an underlying heart condition at the time of his death.

Report says law firms’ revenue increased in the first half of 2020

But that could be short-lived, Westlaw reports. This week it revealed details of Citi Private Bank’s Law Firm Group’s latest quarterly report and interviewed Jeff Grossman, the group’s head of business development. Though revenue grew close to 5.3% in the first half of this year, the article states that “those good times may not last as the coronavirus pandemic undercuts demand and leads many in-house departments to seek discounts.” ( also has coverage)

Facebook edges closer to $650M settlement in facial recognition case

A federal judge approved a preliminary settlement this week in a lawsuit that accuses the social media giant Facebook of unlawfully collecting millions of people’s biometric data. Facebook had offered $100 million to settle the claims but saw the case advance after it upped its offer to $650 million. In 2019, the Federal Trade Commission fined Facebook $5 billion for violating consumers’ privacy rights. (Courthouse News, Reuters)

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