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An Associated Press examination found that more than half of state legislatures in recent years have passed changes to their state victim compensation programs, where thousands of people turn each year for help with funeral costs, medical bills or other expenses after becoming the victim of a violent crime. It’s also where the AP found that a disproportionate number of Black families and victims were denied help in many states, often for subjective reasons rooted in racial bias. Those denied victims have largely driven the changes at legislatures and are advocating for a federal overhaul of compensation guidelines that officials at the U.S. Office for Victims of Crime confirm is underway.

A lawyer for the man charged in the deadliest antisemitic attack in U.S. history has acknowledged that he planned and carried out the massacre at a Pittsburgh synagogue and made hateful statements about Jewish people. Defense attorney Judy Clarke told jurors Tuesday that Robert Bowers went to the Tree of Life synagogue and “shot every person he saw." Bowers went on trial Tuesday, more than four years after the attack that killed 11 worshippers. He could face the death penalty if he is convicted of some of the 63 counts he faces. The defense hopes to persuade the jury to spare his life.


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