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World/National News

January 17, 2014

Around the World and Nation

(Continued)

In a new clash over technology and privacy, the court is being asked to resolve divisions among federal and state courts over whether the old rules should still apply in the digital age.

The justices could say as early as Friday whether they will hear appeals involving warrantless cellphone searches that led to criminal convictions and lengthy prison terms.

There are parallels to other cases making their way through the federal courts, including the much-publicized ones that challenge the massive collection without warrants of telephone records by the National Security Agency. Though the details and scale are far different — searching a single phone for evidence that could send someone to jail versus gathering huge amounts of data, almost all of which will never be used — In both situations the government is relying on Supreme Court decisions from the 1970s, when most households still had rotary-dial telephones.

Cellphones are now everywhere. More than 90 percent of Americans own at least one, the Pew Research Center says, and the majority of those are smartphones — essentially increasingly powerful computers that are also telephones.

Botched execution? Ohio killer takes almost 25 minutes to die from lethal injection

LUCASVILLE, Ohio (AP) — A condemned man appeared to gasp several times and took an unusually long time to die — more than 20 minutes — in an execution carried out Thursday with a combination of drugs never before tried in the U.S.

Dennis McGuire’s attorney Allen Bohnert called the convicted killer’s death “a failed, agonizing experiment” and added: “The people of the state of Ohio should be appalled at what was done here today in their names.”

An attorney for McGuire’s family said it plans to sue the state over what happened.

McGuire’s lawyers had attempted last week to block his execution, arguing that the untried method could lead to a medical phenomenon known as “air hunger” and could cause him to suffer “agony and terror” while struggling to catch his breath.

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