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Texas Courts Accused of "Facilitating" Executions: Steve Mills reports for the Chicago Tribune that a judge's decision to reinstate an inmate's death warrant drew charges from death penalty opponents that the court was behaving "as if their job is to facilitate executions." Because Texas carries out executions more frequently than other states, it is often the focus of protests against the death penalty. The death warrant in question was for Charles Hood, who was sentenced to death 18 years ago for a double murder; clearly 18 years is rushing things.

Potential Impact of the Intelligence Bill
: An editorial in today's Wall Street Journal details the implications of the new extension of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The editorial came out before today's floor vote. The House of Representatives passed the bill, and it has been sent to the Senate.

Inside Operation Falcon, the Fugitive Round-up
: According to this article by Wayne Drash at CNN, thousands of individuals are fugitives from justice, often committing multiple crimes - the average is 13 per fugitive - in their attempts to avoid arrest. Operation Falcon is a nation-wide effort, headed by the US Marshals and supported by local, state and federal law enforcement, to track down and arrest violent offenders, sex offenders, and gang members.

Official Recommends Manson Follower Remain Jailed
: According to this AP article at Fox News, Susan Atkins has applied for compassionate release from prison due to terminal illness. Atkins was sentenced to death for her role in the 1969 Manson Family murders, but her sentence was commuted to life in prison. Atkins herself told officials that her victim, Sharon Tate, "asked me to let her baby live. I told her I didn't have mercy for her [or her unborn baby]". Yet Atkins now feels entitled to mercy from the California Board of Parole Hearings.

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Isn't the release of Atkins not just a compassion issue, but also a cost issue?

Obviously, it's unfortunate that Atkins' richly deserved death sentence was never carried out . . . .

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