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News Scan

Murder Registry Bill Proposed after Killer Walks:  The Huffington Post reports Illinois state legislator Dennis Reboletti (R) has proposed "Andrea's Law" to track some convicted murderers.  The bill is named after Andrea Will, who was murdered in 1998 at the age of 18.  Her murderer, Justin Boulay, was released last year after serving half of his 24-year sentence. If passed, the bill would apply only to those violent offenders convicted before Illinois passed its "truth in sentencing" laws in 1998, which require those convicted of violent crimes to serve a minimum of 85% of their sentence (100% for murderers).  The bill would target those sentenced before adoption of nonretroactive truth in sentencing laws, such as Boulay, requiring them to register on an online database for 10 years after their release.

Kidney Transplant in Commutation Gets More Complicated:  Jimmie E. Gates of the Clarion Ledger reports on a decision by Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour earlier this month to suspend the life sentences of Jaime Scott and her sister Gladys for their participation in a 1993 armed robbery.  Gladys's release was conditioned on her donating a kidney to Jaime,  whose prison dialysis has cost the state nearly $200,000 a year - a requirement some critics argue is unenforceable.  Doctors recently told both sisters they must lose weight before the transplant can occur.

Convicted Serial Killer Charged in Two Additional NY Deaths:  Jennifer Peltz of the Associated Press reports that Rodney Alcala, a California death row inmate, will be charged with two more killings in New York.  Alcala was found guilty last year of the 1970s strangling of four women and a young girl in California.  After his conviction, authorities released hundreds of photos of women found in Alcala's storage locker.  These photos helped prosecutors reopen cold case files that led them to suspect Alcala in the two additional killings in New York.  Prior to last year's conviction, Alcala had been convicted and sentenced to death twice for the California girl's murder, but both verdicts were overturned on appeal.

Texas Short on Lethal Injection Drug:  Russell Goldman of the ABC News reports that Texas has enough of the lethal injection drug to execute only two out of the 317 inmates on death row.  Texas will likely look to the execution process in Ohio and its upcoming plans to start using pentobarbital.  Johnnie Baston, a convicted Ohio death row inmate, is the first inmate scheduled to be injected with this new drug in that state.  (See yesterday's News Scan.)

A Day on the Other Side of the Bench:  Montgomery County Circuit Judge Joseph M. Quirk recently arrived at court for his job of the day - Juror No. 4 in a criminal theft case, conducted in a courtroom a few floors above his chambers.  Judge Quirk stated he was pleased to serve the role of the juror and that he made it a point to jump into the discussions during the jury's deliberations.  Jurors laughed when learning their fellow juror's profession after the close of trial.  WaPo staff writer Dan Morse has this story.  Hat tip to How Appealing

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