It was a tough few days on the Cops and Courts beat last week.
The details in the caes involving story about the discovery of a young mother’s body after she’d lain beside her baby for hours were just heartbreaking:
A young woman found dead in a Paxson Street apartment appeared to have been lying in the same position for hours beside her crying infant before anyone called police.
Kenneth Cadieux, 25, faces a negligent homicide charge in connection with the death of his new girlfriend, 23-year-old Riley Rochelle Boyer, whose body was found Wednesday. The complaint against Cadieux alleges that he “negligently caused the death of Riley Boyer by providing dangerous drugs to her, contributing to a lethal overdose.”
And while a case involving a possible court-ordered hysterectomy for a woman with cancer who doesn’t want the surgery is legally fascinating, the human issues are wrenching:
One day after a Missoula County District Court judge ordered a hysterectomy for a woman with cancer, the Montana Supreme Court stepped in and halted the surgery to allow an appeal. ….
“Tomorrow’s impending involuntary removal of L.K.’s reproductive organs both establishes that the district court is proceeding under a mistake of law and is causing a gross injustice and involves constitutional dignity and religious freedom issues of statewide importance,” the public defender’s office wrote on L.K.’s behalf.
Meanwhile, the Legislature continues to grapple with the issues of drunken driving and marijuana. Here, as promised, are some updates.
The Helena Independent Record covered committee action Friday on DUI:
The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously passed House Bill 106, sponsored by Rep. Steve Lavin, R-Kalispell, Friday. HB106 creates a statewide 24/7 Sobriety program in which those accused of their second or subsequent drunken driving offense must submit to twice daily breath tests as a condition of their release from jail pending trial.
And Missoulian State Bureau reporter Chuck Johnson was all over this interesting development on the medical marijuana front:
Saying the Senate lacks the votes to repeal Montana’s medical marijuana law, the chairman of its Judiciary Committee said Friday he’ll soon appoint a subcommittee to work on a bill to better regulate the industry.
Finally, there was this story on a squeaker 50-49 vote:
The House on Friday killed a bill to require warning labels on marijuana sold for medical use and on medical marijuana cards issued to patients…. (A) bill would have required labels to include this language, in at least 14-point type, in capital letters: “Warning: in some instances, marijuana may trigger acute psychosis or symptoms of schizophrenia and other mental illnesses.”
Medical marijuana is back on the agenda in Helena again this week. In Missoula, meanwhile, we’ll hope for a safer and happier week for everyone.