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News Scan

Gov. Schwarzenegger Commutes Sentence During Final Hours:  During the final hours of his term in office, Governor Schwarzenegger commuted the manslaughter sentence of Esteban Nunez, who pleaded guilty earlier this year to fatally stabbing a man during a fight.  Family members of victim Luis Santos, deeming Schwarzenegger's decision a "sneaky" move, pointed out that Esteban had already received a reduced sentence as part of a plea bargain and that Esteban's father, former assembly speaker Fabian Nunez, previously worked with the Governor on key legislation.  One legal analyst countered that the Nunez family properly followed the required legal process for obtaining a commuted sentence.  Lilian Kim of KGO-TV (CA) has this story.

Accused New Year's Day Murderer Had Violent History:  Teri Figueroa of the North County Times (CA) reports Dontaye Henderson, charged with shooting to death his wife on New Year's Day in front of their six-year-old daughter, was a parolee with a history of violence against women.  Henderson pleaded guilty in 2003 to raping his estranged first wife at knife-point.  He was released on parole in 2005, but returned to prison at least three times for parole violations. Henderson has been on the run since the shooting over the weekend.

Arizona High Court to Consider Execution Drug Dispute:  The Arizona Supreme Court will consider today how to proceed in the case of double murderer and death row inmate Daniel Wayne Cook, reports Michael Kiefer of The Arizona Republic.  Cook's attorneys have asked the court to hold off on setting an execution date unless and until it can be determined whether the state legally obtained its supply of thiopental.  If the court elects to issue a death warrant, Cook would be executed in 35 days.

Foot-Shootin' DEA Agent's Suit Tossed:  The AP reports a federal judge in Florida last week dismissed a lawsuit against the DEA by former agent Lee Paige, who was made infamous by his 2004 foot-shooting blunder during a gun safety demonstration.  Paige had alleged a violation of his right to privacy, but the judge determined Paige failed to provide evidence as to who made the video public.

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