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News Scan

Ohio Will Be First State to Use Pentobarbital Alone During Executions:  The AP reports that in March, Ohio will being using pentobarbital during executions, in light of the nationwide shortage of sodium thiopental.  Oklahoma also switched to pentobarbital last year as part of its three-drug protocol, but Ohio would be the first state to use the drug alone.

DNA Match Leads to Arrest in 1983 Chicago Murder:  Jason Meisner of the Chicago Tribune reports on the arrest of Anthony Kemp, accused of the fatal stabbing death of a man during a home invasion in 1983.  Kemp, who has spent much of the past 20 years in prison for burglary, sexual assault, and armed violence convictions, was linked to the crime after his DNA profile in a nationwide database matched a crime scene sample.  His arrest marks one of several cold cases cracked by Chicago police since 2007 with the help of DOJ funds.

Legislator Proposes Reinstating Death Penalty in New Jersey:  New Jersey Senator Robert Singer (R) introduced a bill to reinstate the death penalty in the state for those convicted or murdering a child, killing a police officer in the line of duty, or committing a fatal terrorist attack.  The legislature repealed capital punishment in the New Jersey in December 2007.  Megan DeMarco has this story in The Star-Ledger (NJ).

Adjusting to Graham :  Lynda Waddington of The Iowa Independent has this story on a study bill pending before the Iowa Senate Judiciary Committee, which would allow some juveniles sentenced to LWOP to be eligible for release hearings after serving 25 years.  The proposed legislation comes in response to the Supreme Court case Graham v. Florida.  The Iowa Supreme Court, like courts in a number of other states, has had difficulty reconciling Graham with an incompatible statutory structure.  The story notes an anomalous result of a defendant convicted of first-degree kidnapping being eligible for parole earlier than if he had been convicted of second-degree.

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