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The Sensible Sentencing Trust is a group formed in New Zealand to press for reform of that country's soft sentencing policies. Jean White of the North Shore Times reports on a meeting of the group. Founder Garth McVicar "told the meeting he was born in 1951 when New Zealand was one of the safest countries in the world. He said 56 years later, New Zealand is one of the most violent countries. 'The country can't turn itself around with current policies. We need to draw the line in the sand. If you cross it, there'll be consequences.'" The group's web site is here.

Update: Texas murderer John Amador, whose case was reported here yesterday, was put to death last night. The Reuters coverage is here .

Murder accomplice Kenneth Foster, whose execution was scheduled for tonight, received a 6-1 vote by the Texas Board of Pardons today, and Governor Rick Perry commuted his sentence to life, as reported by William Marra at ABC News. Democracy Now reports that former President Jimmy Carter and South African archbishop Desmond Tutu have urged Texas to spare Foster. Rap artist Snoop Dogg was suspiciously absent from this appeal.

The release of 3,000 prison inmates to save tax dollars has been proposed by the Florida Department of Corrections according to this story from News4 in Jacksonville. The state legislature will consider the proposal next month.

Juvenile offenders released from Texas corrections in compliance with new state policies are committing new crimes at an alarming rate according to this Associated Press report. The new policy, which authorized the release of 2,210 offenders on March 1, was implemented in response to a sex scandal and possible cover up within the juvenile corrections system. Since the release, over 400 offenders have been rearrested.

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I think the news report says that Foster will be eligible for parole in 2036. It is unfortunate that Mr. LaHood's family had to go through this heartwrenching process.

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