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News Scan

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The hearing on California's lethal injection protocol begins today in federal district court in San Jose, and there is a lot of coverage on it. Here is Bob Egelko's story yesterday, and here is David Kravets' story for the AP. Update: Howard Mintz of the S.J. Mercury-News reports on the first day of the hearing here.

Broken Windows The theory advanced by Professors James Q. Wilson and George Kelling, that cracking down on low level crimes, like petty theft and vandalism, discourages more serious crime, has been proven effective in the New York subways for over a decade. A story in the New York Daily News by Pete Donohue discusses the recent impact of putting more cops in the subways to bust fare-beaters over the past Summer.

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What are people's sense about this case? It looks like the judge is at least likely going to order some changes to the regimen (which, of course, will not bind (for res judicata purposes) any other death row inmate). Then we will have appeals which will likely be sat on by the Ninth Circuit. There well may be a very long de facto moratorium on executions in California.

Federalist could be correct (the first time I have ever said that on a blog -- heh!) I wonder if one likely outcome is that if and when the Ninth Circuit court rules, there could be some sort of circuit court split that would give the Supremes an opening to address the issue.

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