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American Scene: Feds continue crackdown on marijuana facilities

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MORGANTOWN — A West Virginia man tortured and enslaved his wife for much of the past decade, forcing her to endure two pregnancies and deliveries in shackles, authorities say.

The criminal complaint against Peter Lizon, 37, says one of those babies was stillborn and buried on the family farm in Leroy. The other survived but apparently has never had any medical care.

Mr. Lizon was in jail Wednesday on $300,000 bond. He was scheduled for a preliminary hearing on a malicious wounding charge Friday morning in Jackson County Magistrate Court.

Chief Deputy Tony Boggs said Stephanie Lizon, 43, endured more suffering than virtually any domestic violence victim he has seen.

“This appears to go beyond abuse to what I would consider torture,” he said. “Her injuries are much more than just getting pushed up against the wall. She’s been abused almost to the point of slavery and torture.”

The complaint says the wife was burned on her back and breasts with irons and frying pans, and had her foot smashed with a piece of farm equipment, among other things.

Shawn Bayliss, Mr. Lizon’s attorney, said the allegations made by an acquaintance of Stephanie Lizon are “the fabrication of a fertile imagination or a feeble mind, one of the two.”

CONNECTICUT

Yale starts country’s first Ph.D. program for law grads

NEW HAVEN — Yale Law School is starting a doctorate program in law, calling it the first such degree program in the country.

The program is designed to prepare students who have earned a degree from an American law school to become law professors.

The first class of students will begin next year with applications accepted this fall. Students will be entitled to a waiver of tuition and receive a stipend to cover living expenses.

Yale says the level of scholarship expected of entry-level law professors has risen dramatically, so law professors increasingly pursue doctorates in related disciplines such as economics, history, philosophy or political science. Yale says the natural next step is to create a doctorate in law program that can focus on the questions and practices of the law itself.

The program will give students a broad foundation in legal scholarship and provide them the support and specialized training they need to produce their own scholarship, Yale officials said.

Entry-level law professors are expected to have a substantial portfolio of legal writings.

SOUTH DAKOTA

Oglala Sioux asks feds to re-examine reservation deaths

SIOUX FALLS — Oglala Sioux tribal officials want federal authorities to reopen investigations into 16 more unresolved deaths and disappearances at a South Dakota reservation, including one dating back nearly 50 years, an attorney for the tribe said.

Tribal officials gave the list of names to U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson during a meeting in Rapid City on Wednesday. The list adds to the 28 deaths on or around the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation that Mr. Johnson agreed to re-examine nearly a month ago. As with the first list, the majority of cases to be presented are from the 1970s, when the murder rate on the reservation was the highest in the nation and tension between the American Indian Movement and federal authorities was high.

But the new list broadens the scope of the requested investigations by several decades by including the 1964 death of Delbert T. Yellow Wolf, the oldest case presented for re-examination so far, and the 2010 death of Samantha One Horn. One person on the list is missing but has not been declared dead.

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