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News Scan

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Execution in Virginia scheduled for tonight: Jerry Markon, of the Washington Post, writes "the killer of a Winchester police officer, whose case became a flash point in the debate over Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's views on the death penalty, is scheduled to be executed tonight by lethal injection." Fallen Sgt. Timbrook was chasing a probation violator when he was shot and killed by Edward N. Bell. "An attorney for Bell said the execution should be stopped because his attorneys at trial failed to present any positive 'mitigating' evidence about his life that could have spared him." However, Gov. Kaine said he found "no compelling reason" to grant clemency. As of now, "the execution [remains] scheduled for 9 p.m." See also our Tuesday News Scan post. Update: Bell had to be forcibly carried to the execution, Dena Potter reports for AP.

Crime labs need upgrade: After a two year study, the National Academy of Sciences, found that the nation's forensic crime labs are in dire need of an overhaul. "The panel recommends that Congress create an independent National Institute of Forensic Science that could formulate standards for various forensic disciplines, regulate training and accreditation, and lead research," writes Carol Cratty and Jeanne Meserve of CNN.com. According to the NAS report, "many of the labs are 'underfunded and understaffed, which contributes to case backlogs and makes it harder for laboratories to do as much as they could to inform investigations and avoid errors.'" Chairman of the Consortium of Forensic Science Organizations, Peter Marone, "who also served on the National Academy of Sciences panel, told CNN 'the great majority of labs are doing first-rate work top to bottom, and make an enormous contribution to public safety.'" The National District Attorneys' Association response is here.

Crime cameras: Nate Carlisle, of the Salt Lake City Tribune, writes "after decades of rushing police to Pioneer Park when a crime is reported, Salt Lake City has decided to keep someone--or something--watching the park permanently." Police and residents are tired of the park being resting grounds for the homeless and a drug dealing hot spot. Karen McCreary, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah is opposing the cameras. McCreary is claiming that "the potential threat of personal privacy and individual civil liberties outweigh the benefits," but D. Christian Harrison, president and chair of the Downtown Community Council, said "the park we have is a unique space and sometimes you need to take unique action."

Ohio sets June 3 execution date: Cindy Leise, of the Chronicle-Telegram reports that "the Ohio Supreme Court has set a June 3 execution date for a man who kidnapped an Amherst woman, locked her in the trunk of her car and burned her alive." Daniel E. Wilson, now 39, was 21 when he admitted he had killed Carol Lutz. Sadly, Lutz was not his only victim. Years earlier, when Wilson was only 14, he broke into an elderly man's home, broke his hip, ripped out the phone, and left him for dead. The man died because he was unable to contact medical emergency. Wilson's attorneys are arguing that he deserves a new sentence while stating "that the death sentence imposed in 1992 by former Lorain County Common Pleas Judge Lynett McGough was improper." Really? For now, Wilson is scheduled to be the third execution for Ohio this year.

2 Comments

Once again, lenience to a juvenile offender leads to murder. What a surprise. Remind me again why those who advocate kindness towards criminals consider themselves so moral?

I'm liberal on many issues. However, I've just never understood being liberal or tolerant of violent crime. As federalist says, where's the morality in leniency when it leads to more violence and death?

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