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The murder rate jumped by more than 10 percent among dozens of large U.S. cities since 2004, reports Lara Jakes Jordan for AP. The report is due to be officially released tomorrow.

Jessica Lunsford's killer, John Evander Couey was found guilty in a Florida courtroom Wednesday of kidnapping, raping, and burying alive 9-year-old Jessica in February 2005. The AP story by Curt Anderson reported that DNA evidence from the crime scene was used at the trial. Couey, a registered sex offender, may face the death penalty.

Convicts turned farmers? Colorado is considering sending prisoners to work on farms throughout the state as a way of replacing the migrant worker shortage according to this AP story by Chase Squires. One suggestion by prison and agricultural officials would have farmers pay the state $10 an hour per inmate. A 60-cents-a-day credit would go to the prisoner, and the remaining to housing, food, guards and transportation. Opponents of the plan see it as "a return to the plantation system." The 13th Amendment provides, "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment for crime where of the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."

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Lousiana has been making inamtes work on a farm for a very long time. It seems to work reasonably well. There is something to be said for the moral redemption of work.

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