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July 12 Digest

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Why lawmakers are trying to make ransomware a crime in California

State legislation to outlaw ransomware is drawing broad support from tech leaders and lawmakers, spurred by an uptick in that type of cybercrime and a series of recent attacks on hospitals in Southern California. The bill, authored by state Sen. Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys), would update the state’s penal code, making it a felony to knowingly use ransomware, a type of malware or intrusive software that is injected into a computer or network and allows a hacker to hold data hostage until money is paid. By Jazmine Ulloa — Los Angeles Times

State Supreme Court tosses death sentence over judge’s error

The state Supreme Court upheld a Stockton man’s conviction for a 1999 murder and robbery Monday but overturned his death sentence because the trial judge removed a prospective juror who said she was morally opposed to the death penalty but believed she could set her views aside. Although all jurors in capital cases must be willing to vote for a death sentence, “a prospective juror’s conscientious objection to capital punishment is not by itself a sufficient basis for excluding that person from jury service,” Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar said in the 7-0 ruling. By Bob Egelko — San Francisco Chronicle

Venable back on hook for $11.25M Facebook con

A group of investors that claimed it was swindled out of more than $11.25 million worth of pre-initial public offering Facebook shares won its bid to revive securities fraud claims against Venable LLP, which represented the alleged con artist during negotiations. ESG Capital Partners LP adequately pled that former Venable partner David Meyer had the scienter — culpable intent — required under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, Judge Harry Pregerson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said July 11. The plaintiff also adequately pleaded state law fraud claims, but its claim for breach of fiduciary duty wasn’t timely, the appeals court said. By Cameron Finch — Bloomberg BNA

Two bailiffs killed by inmate during attempted jail break, police say

Two bailiffs were killed and a deputy sheriff wounded in a shooting Monday afternoon at a courthouse in Berrien County, Mich., when an inmate being transferred from a cell grabbed a gun and opened fire as he tried to flee, authorities said. The gunman — identified by police as 45-year-old Larry Darnell Gordon from Coloma, Mich. — was shot and killed by other bailiffs, but only after he had shot four people, two of them fatally, Sheriff L. Paul Bailey said at a news conference. By Mark Guarino, Mark Berman and Elahe Izadi — Washington Post

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