GEORGIACheating sentences reduced
A judge sharply reduced the sentences yesterday for three former Atlanta public school educators who received the harshest prison terms in the trial stemming from the city's cheating scandal over standardized tests. Tamara Cotman, Sharon Davis-Williams and Michael Pitts each was given three years in prison and seven on probation. Previously, each was sentenced to seven years in prison and 13 on probation. "When a judge goes home and he keeps thinking over and over that something's wrong, something is usually wrong," Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter said. "I want to modify the sentence so I can live with it." The three former district regional directors were the highest-ranking of the 11 former educators convicted of racketeering. Their original sentences were more than double what prosecutors had recommended. Each of the three also was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine, compared with the original sentence of a $25,000 fine.
CALIFORNIAA tech agenda for Abe
Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe started a three-day visit to California yesterday with plans to check out tech innovations, lend support to expanded commercial ties and promote a Japanese-made bullet train during a meeting with the governor. Speaking at Stanford, Abe said Japan needs to emulate Silicon Valley style, risk and innovation. "We would like to capture the dynamism of Silicon Valley," he said, announcing plans to send representatives from 200 Japanese companies to the region in the next five years. Abe planned to meet with Google and Facebook executives and visit electric carmaker Tesla Motors.
Tsarnaev trial suspended
Testimony in the death penalty trial of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was suspended yesterday because of a sick juror. Judge George O'Toole Jr. said the juror was expected to return to court Monday. Tsarnaev, 21, has been convicted of all 30 charges against him, including 17 that carry the possibility of the death penalty.