Supreme Court rejects death row inmate’s appeal

National News

The Nebraska Supreme Court has rejected the latest appeal of a Texas man on Nebraska’s death row for killed two Grand Island men in 2007.

Marco Torres Jr., formerly of Pasadena, Texas, had sought post-conviction relief for a third time after being sentenced to death for two counts of first-degree murder and other counts in the robbery and shooting deaths of 48-year-old Timothy Donohue and 60-year-old Edward Hall. In his latest appeal, Torres argued that his death sentence should be converted to life in prison based on the Legislature’s vote to repeal the state’s death penalty in 2015. Nebraska voters later reinstated the death penalty.

Torres argued in the appeal that the referendum process to reinstate Nebraska’s capital punishment and his death sentence amounted to violations of his constitutional due process rights and against cruel and unusual punishment.

The state’s high court on Friday rejected Torres’ arguments, saying it found no merit to his claims.

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USCIS Adjusting Premium Processing Fee

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today it is adjusting the premium processing fee for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker and Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers beginning on Oct. 1, 2018 to more effectively adjudicate petitions and maintain effective service to petitioners.

The premium processing fee will increase to $1,410, a 14.92 percent increase (after rounding) from the current fee of $1,225. This increase, which is done in accordance with the Immigration and Nationality Act, represents the percentage change in inflation since the fee was last increased in 2010 based on the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers.

“Because premium processing fees have not been adjusted since 2010, our ability to improve the adjudications and service processes for all petitioners has been hindered as we’ve experienced significantly higher demand for immigration benefits. Ultimately, adjusting the premium processing fee will allow us to continue making necessary investments in staff and technology to administer various immigration benefit requests more effectively and efficiently,” said Chief Financial Officer Joseph Moore. “USCIS will continue adjudicating all petitions on a case-by-case basis to determine if they meet all standards required under applicable law, policies, and regulations.”

Premium processing is an optional service that is currently authorized for certain petitioners filing Forms I-129 or I-140. The system allows petitioners to request 15-day processing of certain employment-based immigration benefit requests if they pay an extra fee. The premium processing fee is paid in addition to the base filing fee and any other applicable fees, which cannot be waived.